Anacostia Watershed Blog

Earth Day 2015 Site Sketches: Wells Run Stream Buffer

Site Leader:  Mary Abe
Phone Number: 301-699-6204 x106
Site Capacity: 50

Wells Run is a tributary of the Anacostia that has seen a lot of improvement in recent years, and the community is dedicated to keep making the stream healthier! 

Wells Run runs through both the Riverdale Park and University Park communities before connecting to the NE branch of the Anacostia River.  Compared to many tributaries of the Anacostia Wells Run is relatively trash free, but suffers from a lack of stream buffer vegetation, and in many areas the slopes leading to the stream bank are mowed grass.

Earth Day 2015 Site Sketches: Quincy Run

Site Leader: Marian Dombrowski
Contact Info:
Cell: 301-775-1191
Site Capacity: 200

Quincy Run is a tributary that is near and dear to the AWS staff not only for its literal closeness to our offices but because it, like many other tributaries of the Anacostia, has quite the geography and history that works for/against it.

Quincy Run begins near MD 202 and the Baltimore/Washington Parkway and runs above ground* for just over a half mile.  It begins in neighborhoods but quickly changes over to a large wooded site that receives a lot of trash due to dumping and blowing trash from people littering the roadways and businesses around the area.

AWS wanted to share this blog post from one of our great partners, supporters, and friends, George S. Hawkins, the General Manager of DC Water

Bravo for the Anacostia Watershed Society!

By: George S. Hawkins, General Manager of DC Water

                      Kingman Island, Northeast Washington, D.C.

Introducing Anacostia Fun Runs!


Mt. Rainier Storm Drain Painting Call for Artists

As spring arrives and the accompanying rains begin to fall, our attention might be drawn to all the water flowing over the impervious surfaces and into the storm drains surrounding us near our homes, offices, and everywhere else we look. The storm drains are not much to look at in most places -- but my capstone project, which I am undertaking as part of my position as a Chesapeake Conservation Corps volunteer, seeks to change that in the city of Mt. Rainier, MD.

I first heard of storm drain paintings when I was an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. Colorful patterns and designs started popping up all over the storm drains in downtown Lexington but, beyond a simple artist’s mark, there was no indication of what the project was about.

An artistic storm drain in Lexington, KY.

One of the artistic storm drains in Lexington, KY (Lexington Street Sweeper)

Dealing with Debris

After Sandy one did not have to look far to find horrifying images of storm damage up and down the East Coast. The DC metro region was, thankfully, spared by the worst of the weather but, as Lori pointed out in this blog post, there was definite evidence of Sandy’s impact on the Anacostia watershed.

It was all the more evident during the education team’s first canoe trip out since the storm. We were not surprised to find an enormous amount of debris floating in the river. While much of it was sticks, logs, leaves, and other natural materials, just as much, if not more, was plastic and glass bottles, styrofoam cups and containers, and other bits of non-biodegradable materials. One type of plastic that was few and far between, however, was the plastic bag. We can, again, give credit to the DC bag fee for keeping an enormous number of these bags out of the river.

October Seeds Bring Spring Plants

The past couple of weeks were busy ones for the Education team. We took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather by being outside practically every day with both students and adult volunteers. A good portion of our time was spent collecting various seeds as the plants matured, dried, and began to drop their fruits at the cold's approach.

Students collect Partridge Pea Seeds at ANA 11

All of the seeds we collected fall into two categories, wetland plants and meadow plants, and have differing modes of collection.

Meadow Plants

Wonders on the Water: A Welcome

Whoosh! The flap of the cormorant’s wings lifted it away from the water. It didn’t seem too perturbed by its missed catch. It would have another shot. Twenty yards downriver a snowy white egret stood perfectly still, a lesson in elegance and poise. Red-eared sliders, true to their name, slid one-by-one from their sunning logs into the water at our approach. A bald eagle, barely visible from its great height, surveyed all below.

This is just a glimpse of my first trip out onto the Anacostia River and from this experience, I could tell the watershed and I would have a full year’s worth of adventures and stories to tell by the end of next August.

A cormorant's lunch

Lunch for a cormorant.