River Health and Recreation Public Forum

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012
Time: 9am - 11am
Location: First District Police Station, 101 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024

Are you a recreational user of the Anacostia River?
Do you paddle, boat, row, or fish on the Anacostia?

If so, you should plan to attend this open public forum on River Health and Recreation. A panel of public health and environmental experts will make a brief presentation, followed by an open question and answer period. The panel will feature government officials and health experts including:

UPDATED: Draft consent decree announced for Washington Gas toxic site

On December 12, 2011, the District Department of Environment (DDOE) announced, along with its federal partners, the entry of a draft consent decree regarding clean up of the Washington Gas toxic site along the Anacostia River. 

Going Green - Not Just for People with Money

Support a Prince George's County Bag Bill

The Anacostia River is so severely impacted by trash that in 2007 it was declared impaired by trash under the provisions of the Clean Water Act.  Only the second river in the country to be so designated, and the first multi-jurisdictional river (Maryland and DC), in 2010 a trash TMDL, or pollution diet, was issued that requires Anacostia jurisdictions to reduce the amount of trash entering the river.

At the end of 2008 AWS released a scientific study of trash in the Anacostia River.  One of the key findings of this study was that 33% of the trash in the tidal river was plastic bags, while nearly 50% of the trash in tributary streams was plastic bags.

Save the Forested Buffer in the Wheaton Sector Plan


Sligo Creek, a tributary of the Anacostia River

Today AWS is calling on Montgomery County Council to save the last remaining forested area in the Wheaton Sector Plan.  This green forested buffer contains remnant streams and headwater catchments that drain to Sligo Creek (of Northwest Branch of the Anacostia) and to Lower Rock Creek.  Mapping, protecting, and expanding existing green forest buffers is one of the most important first steps we can take in any watershed restoration program.  The Council did the right thing by making watershed restoration a core objective of the sector plan, but now they must finish the job by enacting specific protections for the forest buffer around Wheaton mall.

Wheaton Sector Plan: Preserve and Expand the Green Forest Buffer

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs


The Anacostia River at the Commodore Joshua Barney Bridge in Bladensburg, MD

The Maryland State Highway Administration has been hard at work placing Anacostia River and Tributary signs thoughout the watershed from the Beltway to Bladensburg and everywhere in between.  You should see them on major state and interstate roads where they cross a particuar tributary.  Here are two that highlight the rivers main tribuataries:


The Northwest Branch crossing at Route 1 in North Brentwood/Hyattsville, MD


The Northeast Branch crossing at Alt US Route 1 in Edmonston/Hyattsville, MD

Prince George’s County Clean Water Forum This Thursday 11/10

Co-sponsors: Clean Water Action, Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, Anacostia Watershed Society

Free And Open To The Public – Refreshments Served!

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2011                                                        
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Forest Heights Mayor’s Office
5508 Arapahoe Drive
Forest Heights, MD  20745 (map)
Click here to download the event flyer

Anacostia River Trail Dedication

On Friday, November 4, 2011, an incredible numbers of government officials came to Bladensburg Waterfront Park (BWP) to cut the ribbon on the latest segment of the Anacostia River hiker/biker trail.  The Northwest and Northeast Branch trails used to meet and then end at BWP, but a new 1.5 mile section has opened that runs nearly to the DC border.  This is part of a plan to create a full Anacostia River trail that connects Maryland to DC!  (DC is building north along National Park Service land on the river and we hope the trails will be connected within two years.)  I think this trail will be a game changer for perceptions of the Anacostia River, and for commuting patterns in the northeastern quadrant of the metropolitan area.

Overview Map of Anacostia River Trail planned improvements

Ten Scariest Facts About the Chesapeake Bay (and the Anacostia!)

On Saturday, October 29 please celebrate Halloween on the banks of the Anacostia River with Environment America, Environmental Justice Committee of the American Public Health Association, the Anacostia Watershed Society and US Representative Donna Edwards.  Environmental America will be releasing their "Ten Scariest Facts about the Chesapeake Bay" and Anacostia Watershed Society will make clear that the Bay's problems start upstream in our rivers.  After a brief press conference volunteers and advocates will clean up the river!

Press release

Ten Scariest Facts About the Chesapeake Bay

New Clean Water Act Permit a Step Toward Clean Rivers in DC

The single biggest source of pollution in the Anacostia River is stormwater runoff.  Perhaps the most important regulatory framework designed to reduce stormwater polution is the MS4 permit (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System), which is issued to DC directly by EPA Region 3.  AWS and its allies have been engaged in a years long campaign to strengthen this permit - a campaign that is finally coming to fruition today with a 1:00pm release event at Yards Park.

DC Combined Sewer / Separate Sewer Map
The new DC MS4 permit covers the separated sewer system, shown in white

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