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

First ever podcast! Jorge collects seed for meadow project

This is our first ever video here at the Anacostia Watershed Society!  I went with our conservation biologist Jorge to collect seed at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (aka BARC) to collect seeds from the National Plant Materials Center that we will use in revegetating the Anacostia Riparian Meadow Restoration (ARMR) site.

Special thanks to Sara Tangren of Chesapeake Natives for letting us collect the seed and teaching us a little about the plants we harvested.

Stay tuned for many more videos -- from highlights on volunteer opportunities, to DIY & Bay-friendly watershed stewardship activities, to spotlights on the many programs we manage throughout the watershed!  Enjoy!

Native Shrubs Help Restore Habitat

Birds of the Anacostia Watershed

Even with all the environmental problems our river faces we wouldn't be exaggerating when we say that wildlife is actually abundant in the watershed.  And, like we have discussed in a previous article we even have some well known cases of overabundant wildlife!  Birds are without a doubt one of the most charismatic animals and some of the most abundant in the River.  In the Anacostia watershed we have a decent amount of bird species, many of them are nice-looking and the majority are native.  From the American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), a notable species during this time of the year for its Halloween symbolism, to all the raptors, herons, chickadees, warbles, vireos, ducks and turkeys, the lands and waters of the Anacostia watershed have lot to offer for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. 

Frequency – Another Keyword to Restore Our Streams


Badly Eroded Stream Bank on the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia.
The height of the bank is about 6 ft.

The words of Volume and Velocity penetrated into environmental and other conservation communities as keywords to restore our streams.  However, here is another keyword that is still not yet well-known. 

The word is Frequency

What it means to be a Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer

Canoes at Bladensburg Waterfront Park

Hello! This is Jamie Phillips, AWS’s newest team member.  I am working with the Stewardship team through the Chesapeake Conservation Corps program through next summer.  To me, this program is a win-win situation for the environmental movement: not only do organizations such as this one get extra help at no cost to them (which I’ll explain shortly), but young environmentalists such as myself get a great learning and service experience as a full-time part of an environmental nonprofit group.

Hurricane Irene: This Time We Survived So-So.  How About Next Time?


The Northeast(NE) Branch of the Anacostia River at Decatur St.
in Edmonston, Prince George's County, Maryland
After approximately 1.5 inch precipitation on 9/7/2011


The NE Branch during normal flow

A New Tool in the Toolbox for our Invasive Plant Control Program

On Monday, August 8, we released 1,745 beetles across the street from The George Washington House to control Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). The beetles were kindly provided by Robert Trumbule an Entomologist from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. A couple of years ago Robert also gave us a batch of 500 weevils (Rhinoncomimus latipes) to control Mile-a-minute (Persicaria perfoliata) another highly invasive plant in the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

Robert Trumbule (MDA), AWS staff, and Mallory Shramek (AWS' Summer Stewardship Intern) releasing the beetles.

Volunteer for the Upcoming 9/11 Day of Service

George Washington University Volunteers at our 2010 Day of Service

In just a few weeks AWS will be participating for the 3rd time in the 9/11 National Day of Service.  This year we're headed back to Fort Dupont Park in Washington, DC.  We'll be helping out the National Park Service with a variety of needs including a trash clean up, an invasive plant removal, the removal a stream blockage, and creating an entirely new trail!  

For anyone who doesn't know, Fort Dupont Park constitutes DC's second largest woodland area at about 360 acres.   That makes it a very significant urban habitat and an important sub-watershed for the Anacostia River.  We're excited to be able to focus hundreds of volunteers on helping out this beautiful park.  

What Is a Swimmable Anacostia River?

Disclaimer: the ideas presented here are the water quality specialist’s personal view and is not AWS’s view on the definition of a swimmable Anacostia River.

Blue Flag and Robert Boone (the founder of AWS)

When I joined the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) in 2002, I started to be involved in a project called Flagging Project.  In the project I took samples every business day from June through October in 2002 and 2003, measured the water for various parameters including Fecal Coliform Bacteria.  Since it takes about 24 hours to analyze water for fecal bacteria, I forecasted the fecal bacteria testing results based on accumulated data, rainfall precipitation, conductivity, etc.  The forecast was made if the fecal bacteria level will meet a boating standard or not.



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