Anacostia Watershed Blog

Exclusive Bill Matuszeski Lecture for AWS Members, Jan. 28

Please join the Anacostia Watershed Society for an exclusive members-only lecture!
Not an AWS Member?  Click here for more information.

Featured Speaker: Bill Matuszeski
"Five Myths about the Chesapeake Bay"

DC's New Bag Bill Went Into Effect Jan. 1

Pictured: Plastic bags at Nash Run in Washington, DC

Click here to download the AWS Bag Bill Poster.
Click here to download the AWS Bag Bill Fact Sheet.

Why a bag fee?
The purpose of the bag fee is to get trash out of our waterways. A recent study found that 33% of the trash in the Anacostia River is plastic bags.*  A District Department of the Environment (DDOE) survey found that nearly 50% of the trash in tributary streams is plastic bags; the greater amounts of vegetation tend to snag the bags upstream of the Anacostia’s main stem.**  People can avoid paying the fee by bringing reusable bags to the store, and as more people do so over time the number of plastic bags used in the District will decline dramatically. The result will be a more beautiful city for everyone to enjoy.

Action Alert: Sediment-laden water flows from ICC site directly to Indian Creek

On Wednesday, December 9, 2009, Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) received an alert from the Citizens to Conserve and Restore Indian Creek that the water flowing in Indian Creek appeared to be very full of sediment. AWS Water Quality Specialist Masaya Maeda responded and filmed turbid water being pumped out of the ICC construction site directly into the Indian Creek headwaters. Sediment is a major contributor to unhealthy rivers and a major pollutant undermining the recovery of Chesapeake Bay.

Anacostia Watershed Society demands a stop work order for the ICC until sediment control practices that do not harm the river are put into place. Unfortunately, this video is merely the latest incident in a pattern of inadequate sediment management at the ICC construction site.

AWS Lecture Series Event Featuring Author Howard Ernst

Please join us at the George Washington House on Thursday, November 12 for this exciting presentation!

Dr. Howard ErnstThe Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) invites you to attend a lecture series event at the George Washington House featuring professor and author Howard Ernst.  Dr. Ernst is Associate Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of several books, including his latest, Fight for the Bay: Why a Dark Green Environmental Awakening is Needed to Save the Chesapeake Bay.  His talk will focus on several themes covered in that work, including his evaluations of past and present programs aimed at restoring Bay ecology.

What: AWS Lecture Series Event featuring Dr. Howard Ernst

When: Thursday, November 12, 2009; 7:00PM to 8:30PM

The Anacostia River Watershed: Its Dangerous Toxic Pollutant Sources

Toxic contaminates affect every citizen who fishes or considers other activities on the Anacostia River or its tributaries.

Download a Fact Sheet on Toxic Pollutants [PDF File]

 Our friends at the group Neighbors of Northwest Branch are holding stream cleanups at 3 different locations this Saturday.  Please come out and join them if you can!

What: Clean the Stream on Halloween
When: Saturday, October 24, 2009; 10AM to Noon
Where: (1) Kemp Mill Rd. near the foot of Glenallan Ave.; (2) West Hyattsville Metro Station; (3) Burnt Mills on Rt. 29/Colesville Rd.
Contact: For Kemp Mills Rd. site, contact Glenn Welch at; For West Hyattsville, contact James Graham at; For Burnt Mills, contact Larry Hush at

For more infomation, visit the event page on the Neighbors of Northwest Branch Web site.

International Day of Climate Action - October 24, 2009

Description from

We need a clean, green economy that affirmatively improves the lives of all of humanity, especially those who have been negatively impacted by the fossil fuel economy--people of color and low-income people.

On October 24th, thousands of people will rally, with music and speakers, in Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park at 16th and Euclid Streets NW. Mid-afternoon we will march down 16th St. to Lafayette Park and form a Circle of Hope across from the White House. Bike rides are also being organized as part of the day of action.

This D.C. climate action rally is only one of 4000 similar events happening in more than 160 countries around the globe this Saturday.  Please come out and show your support for a healthier and happier planet!

To RSVP or for more information, visit the official event page at

 2009 AWS Fall Bike Raffle Winner Beth Williams (and her prize)!Congratulations to Takoma Park resident Beth Williams (pictured left) on winning AWS's 2009 Fall Bike Raffle!  Beth picked up her prize--a 2010 Trek 7000 Hybrid bicycle--right after her winning ticket was pulled on October 21.  In addition to the bike, Beth also receives free lifetime tune-ups from our friends at College Park Bikes in College Park, MD.

Our thanks go out to everyone who supported our environmental advocacy, education, and stewardship programs by buying a raffle ticket.  Proceeds from the raffle were outstanding this year!

We also wish to thank Charles and the entire staff at College Park Bikes for providing the prize bike to us at cost and assembling it.


From AWS Executive Director Jim Connolly:

Here is a link to an article from the New York Times that deals with the concept of zero trash.  Nantucket, among other locations, is very aggressively promoting recycling, composting and trash reduction as a way to reduce landfill volumes, prevent greenhouse gas emissions from landfill off-gassing, and to save money:

On Monday, October 19, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a new bill aimed at bolstering environmental recovery and protection for the Chesapeake Bay.  The Chesapeake Bay Regional Restoration Act will provide $1.5 billion dollars in federal spending on the effort.  Read more in this article from The Capital.



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