Anacostia Watershed Blog


Our annual Earth Day Cleanup & Celebration event is less than 2½ weeks away! Please join us this year in honoring Earth Day on April 21 by helping clean up the watershed. Most cleanup activities run from 9 am to noon; for specific locations (nearly 40 total!) and times, please visit our Earth Day Google Map. Following the cleanup will be a celebration (part of The Nature Conservancy’s Picnic for the Planet) at RFK Stadium parking lot #6 from noon to 2 pm featuring live music, guest speakers, exhibits, organizational tables, and free food and drinks prepared by Seafarer’s Yacht Club. For more details please visit our Earth Day webpage.

Rally for Clean Water, Annapolis

Gov. Martin O'Malley takes the stage to address the crowd.

Organized by Clean Water, Healthy Families (a coalition of environmental organizations in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, of which AWS is a member), on March 28, 2012, more than 100 people gathered in front of the Maryland State House (an area known as the Lawyer’s Mall) advocating for clean water legislation. Currently there are 3 bills moving through the Maryland General Assembly that would protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, helping to make them safe to swim and fish in, create jobs, reduce stormwater runoff, and protect public health:

Funding Available For DC Green Roofs

Rebate helped fund this green roof atop the Mary Graydon Center at American University.

If you haven’t already heard, the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is once again providing rebates, at $5 per square foot, for green roofs to qualified applicants for the third consecutive year! The Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) is administering the program for DDOE and believes this is a great opportunity to help people cover some costs of their proposed green roofs as well as an opportunity to reach out to those unfamiliar with this technology all in an effort to help restore the watershed.

My Chesapeake Conservation Corps Experience

Chesapeake Conservation Corps crew built 19 wet-beds to help AWS with native wetland plant propagation for our various restoration projects.

Fulfilling my role as Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer at the Anacostia Watershed Society has been an amazing experience. Over the course of the year I have learned a lot about AWS, the Anacostia and Chesapeake Bay watersheds, and environmental restoration. I plan to use the skills and knowledge I’ve strengthened to continue on this career path with AWS as I am now their Advocacy Associate!

Final result of volunteers removing an invasive non-native species, bamboo, and planting native trees along a stream bank.

Native Shrubs Help Restore Habitat

Gearing up for Fall Tree Planting Season

The first round of trees are ready and waiting.

The fall tree planting season is coming into view and we here at AWS are getting ready for it.  Now, we still have a little over a month and a half before weather conditions are just right, but the planning stages are already underway.

Chesapeake Conservation Corps Adventures on Smith Island

This sign can be seen from the docks in the Chesapeake Bay while approaching Tylerton, MD.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteers had an incredible opportunity to experience environmental education training on Smith Island from May 31st - June 2nd.  We were welcomed to the island and the town of Tylerton, population of approximately 56 people, by three Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) staff members who live on the island.  CBF owns two houses located right near the Bay in which we stayed: Mullins House and Bay House (see photos below).  The trip taught us about providing environmental education but I was also able to see how the issues we (AWS) deal with on the Anacostia River are problems for the entire Bay.

Mullins House

South River Shoreline Reforestation: 200+ Native Trees and Shrubs Planted

Volunteers help plant trees and shrubs on a slope of the South River shoreline in the Heritage Harbor community.

On May 2nd the South River Federation, Chesapeake Bay Trust, CBT’s Chesapeake Conservation Corps, Watershed Stewards Academy, DoubleTree Hotel, Heritage Harbor residence, and other community volunteers joined forces to plant over 200 trees and shrubs on a small section of the South River’s shoreline.  Congressman John Sarbanes was also on site to talk to everyone about his thoughts on the environment, the importance of reforesting the area, and what it means for the future of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed as well as future generations of watershed stewards.

Congressman John Sarbanes (center) talking to volunteers.

Another Piece Added to the Restoration Puzzle

The Chesapeake Bay Trust (CBT) started its first year of Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Hosts and Volunteers in November 2010.  One aspect of this program offers each CCC Volunteer the opportunity to submit a proposal for a Corps-wide project, one event during spring and one in fall, that will take place at a location chosen by the awarded volunteer and host organization.  Six out of a possible sixteen proposals were submitted for the spring project and an anonymous review committee assembled by CBT determined that the winner of the All-Hands on Deck Spring Project is the Anacostia Watershed Society!

Germinated wild rice seeds

Upcoming Restoration Projects

Starting this month the Anacostia Watershed Society will be involved in two restoration projects, both of which are being funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  The Anacostia Riparian Meadow Restoration (ARMR) project, awarded at $21,000, is to be implemented in Hyattsville, Md. along the northern streambank of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River (see photo below).  The goal of this project is to establish native grasses in the area for better management of plant communities on the floodway.  Non-native invasive plants currently inhabit the project site and are very problematic; once they start growing in an area they reproduce quickly, destroy native plants, and decrease the habitat quality for other biota.  The first year of ARMR will be dedicated to removing invasive plants and woody vegetation and planting native seeds.  AWS hopes to engage at least 100 volunteers to help make this project a success.