Anacostia Watershed Blog

Happy World Soil Day!

A "sediment beach" at Bladensburg Waterfront Park that appears during low tide on the Anacostia River.

Soil is one of our most basic natural resources; it is the sustenance of biodiversity and our food.  And, without biodiversity, there is no clean water!  As you all know, the loss of top soil caused by water erosion -- caused by poor land management -- is one of the main reasons why the Anacostia River is in the shape it's in.  Check out this cool video, and more related videos can be found here.

Breaking News: Potential Oil Spill on the Anacostia

Additional photos can be found on the AWS Facebook page.

Yesterday evening an oily substance was discovered covering a large section of the surface of the Anacostia River.  DC Fire Department crews were on the scene from 6:00pm Monday night until 2:00am Tuesday morning working to contain the spill.  The spill stretched from Bladensburg Road in Prince George's County, Md. to the 11th Street bridge near the Washington Navy Yard in DC.  Containment booms were deployed to keep the substance from spreading, but they didn't catch any pollution so they were removed this morning.  According to local news sources, initial tests show the substance is petroleum-based.  The US Coast Guard and the District Department of the Environment are investigating the situation. 


Action to Highlight the 28th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act’s Missed Deadlines and Unmet Promises To Make Waterways Swimmable and Fishable

What:   Despite public health warnings and the danger of infection, clean water proponents and scientists will take the plunge into the Anacostia River to raise awareness about the failures to meet the deadline set by the landmark Clean Water Act for waterways to be made swimmable and fishable.

Speakers will call on federal, state and local officials -- including DC and Prince George’s county officials -- to take actions on storm water discharge and other measures to restore the Anacostia and all of the rivers leading into the Chesapeake Bay.

It's Shad Week!

AWS Conservation Biologist Jorge Bogantes Montero with a North American Shad from the Potomac River.

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Education team has been working with several local schools this week to restore the North American Shad population in the Anacostia River through the Shad Restoration Project in partnership with Living Classrooms.  First, the eggs are harvested from shad caught in the Potomac River.  Next, the fertilized eggs are delivered to the classrooms where the students are able to watch the shad fry hatch.  Finally, at the end of the week the students release the baby shad into the Anacostia River.  The shad will return to the place where they were first introduced in the river to spawn, so this will help to increase their population in the Anacostia.

Students getting ready to release their shad fry into the Anacostia River.

Michelle Obama's Earth Day Plans with AWS Rained Out

Happy Earth Day!  Several Anacostia Watershed Society staff members were set to attend an event today with First Lady Michelle Obama today to celebrate Earth Day, but unfortunately the weather had other plans.  The event was scheduled for this afternoon at Fort Dupont Park in Washington, DC where AWS does a lot of work with volunteers to control invasive plants.  Mrs. Obama was going to take part in a habitat improvement project with a group of local students. 

Students remove invasive plants at Fort Dupont Park during an AWS volunteer event last spring.

Despite the cancelation, the event was still mentioned in several local and national news outlets:

AWS Kicks off Earth Day week with FOX 5

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Brent Bolin, Ariel Trahan and Emily Gillespie were at Bladensburg Waterfront Park bright and early this morning to jump start Earth Day week with FOX 5's Paul Raphel. 

AWS Director of Advocacy Brent Bolin talks about the newly released State of the Anacostia River Report Card with FOX 5 Reporter Paul Raphel.

FOX 5 is holding a special "Haul Your Hazards" day this Friday, April 22nd, coinciding with the world-wide celebration of Earth Day.  In addition, they are highlighting local environmental stories in the DC area throughout the week. 

Technical Difficulties at AWS

If you've tried to contact us via e-mail this week and haven't gotten a response, we promise we're not ignoring you!  Our server crashed on Monday night and we lost access to the internet and all of our e-mail accounts.  We're working to restore everything now and we hope to be back up and running by the end of the week.  If you need to reach us, feel free to stop by the office or give us a call at 301-699-6204.  Thanks and sorry for any inconvenience!

PS- Our Earth Day event is less than a month away (Saturday, April 9th), so visit our Earth Day web page and sign up now to volunteer if you haven't already!

Greening the Empire State Building Lecture

On Wednesday evening we brought in Frank Mobilio, Associate Director/Vice President in the Project and Development Services Group in the Washington, DC office of Jones Lang LaSalle, to share his experiences and involvement with the recent green renovations at the Empire State Building as part of our ongoing AWS Lecture Series.

The Empire State Building project has a very interesting website featuring an interactive puzzle and information about their new energy efficient features and technology (  Frank also explained how some of these techniques could be translated to your own home or office. 

Discovery Team "Creates Change" for AWS

10:00pm on Tuesday marked the end of a marathon day for a large number of Discovery employees!  AWS is one of only 40 nonprofits accepted into the first-ever Discovery Impact: Creating Change program where more than 200 employee-volunteers executed complete projects from start to finish in just 12 hours.  Projects ranged anywhere from press releases and social media strategies to websites and PSAs.

A team of very talented and creative Discovery employees worked together to develop an advertising campaign to help raise awareness for our mission and work in the Anacostia Watershed.  AWS Communications Manager Emily Gillespie and Development Coordinator Emily Conrad are heading over to the Discovery Headquarters now to see the final products! 

Prince George’s County’s chance for a greener future

Bioretention, Knollbrook Drive, Prince George’s County

On Tuesday, October 26 Prince George’s County Council has a chance to chart a new course for development in the county that is two kinds of green: good for our environment and good for our economy. Come to the Council hearing room at 9AM on Tuesday to make your voice heard: County Administration Building 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772-3050.

Studies have shown that building green: