Mayor Gray to Sign Sustainable DC Legislation and Kick Off River Sediment Project


Save the Date flyer sent out by the District Department of the Environment.

On Tuesday, July 29, at 1:30 pm, DC Mayor Vincent Gray is hosting a signing ceremony at Anacostia Community Boathouse (1900 M St. SE) for the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014 followed by the launch of sampling activities for the Anacostia River Sediment Project. These are two very important efforts for the health of the environment, particularly the Anacostia River, that were a top priority this year for AWS and other supporters.

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Part of the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act bans the use of Styrofoam food and beverage service containers by January 2016 and further requires that these service containers be made of only compostable or recyclable material by January 2017. This is a big victory because materials made of polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) never completely break down in the environment, but instead deteriorate into tiny pieces. Additionally, these products are extremely expensive and difficult to recycle and DC does not have a recycling program for them. As we’ve seen from our trash trap on Nash Run, a stream of the Anacostia River, in DC, Styrofoam is quite a problem making up 20% of the trash collected by volume.

If findings from our trash trap on plastic bags before and after the bag fee went into effect in 2010 (50% reduction of plastic bags entering Nash Run) are any indication of what’s to come for Styrofoam, we are well on our way to one day eliminating this pollution from the river.

The Anacostia River Sediment Project is a huge step forward on addressing the legacy toxics in the riverbed. The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and Tetra Tech, DDOE’s contractor for the Sediment Project, have been working diligently to get this investigation underway. Sediment sampling in the river started this month. Find out more about what’s been happening by clicking here.

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Immediately following the signing ceremony and project kick off, AWS in coordination with DDOE and Tetra Tech will provide a boat tour on the Anacostia River to demonstrate how a sediment sample is taken, logged, and placed in a container for lab analysis for the project. We’ll be sure to point out some interesting facts and tidbits about the river and its history along the way.

Hope you are able to join us!

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