Anacostia Watershed Blog

A Reason to Be Glad: Springtime Means Shad!

By: Chris Lemieux, Manager of Education


Video of Shad running at Buzzard Point on March 28, 2017

As the Spring warm-up is well under-way, so is the annual run of the American Shad! The newly-minted “DC state fish” spends most of its life in the ocean, but as your garden is beginning to bloom, the shad make their way back up our local rivers to spawn.

Up until the late 1800’s this fish was a major part of colonial life and a huge component of a thriving native ecology as well as colonial-American industry. But Shad fell victim to the neglect and mistreatment of the Anacostia River, and the numbers of this fish dwindled from over-fishing, pollution, and loss of prime spawning habitat.


Students release shad fry into the Anacostia River.

The Fight Against Phragmites


The fight against invasive plants is a difficult one, as a matter of fact, it is a battle you shouldn't necessarily expect to win.

Removing invasive plants is not an easy enterprise, especially when it has to be done in a wetland, a rather muddy, wet and messy habitat to deal with. Our first Phragmites removal project started in 2010, and even though we made great strides for a couple of years, the effort fell apart when we left the site unattended for a growing season due to lack of funding, and, we were also busy with other ventures. One growing season, then another growing season… and then, you guessed it! Phragmites took over again. Ironically, Phragmites had previously encroached upon the same site after a previous wetland revegetation effort (which we still don’t know who did) was left unmaintained and the Phragmites literally took the whole site over. So, Phragmites = 2, people = ZERO. Ouch!!

Anacostia Watershed Society Submits Comments on Anacostia Park Draft Management Plan

Encourages NPS to Maximize Natural Area, Natural Systems

(Washington, DC, March 17, 2017) -- The Anacostia Watershed Society this week submitted detailed comments to the National Park Service in response to the Anacostia Park Draft Management Plan.

AWS expressed support for Alternative 4 as the best plan for Anacostia Park because it preserves the most natural area and allows for the least intrusive management practices on National Park land. AWS supports Alternative 4 because it achieves the highest and best use of National Park land to return, restore and protect the natural environment for the use of all, including future generations. AWS did note some ambiguity between the text and the maps, and made clear that AWS does NOT support the transfer of Poplar Point to the District of Columbia for commercial development.

Among the specific comments offered by AWS:  

Thank you to our members and supporters!

As a special thanks we made you watershed valentines to share

Anacostia Watershed Society members and supporters are the reason we have been able to sustain remarkable progress towards a swimmable and fishable Anacostia River!  Thank you so much for everything you do to help us protect and restore the river and our neighborhood parks and streams. 

As a special thank you from us, and on behalf of the critters you help protect, we made some #WatershedWildlife themed valentines for you to share on February 14!  We hope you enjoy them!

mussel valentine

bee valentine

Fairland Park - Help us investigate the source of the pollution

By: Masays Maeda, AWS Water Quality Specialist

Short version: We need citizens to help us find the source of the pollution at the pond at Fairland Park. If you see vehicle (or RV in particular) illegally emptying into the pond, please take photos and send them to Masaya Maeda at mmaeda@anacostiaws.org.

The pond in the Fairland Recreational Park is polluted.  Our friend, Jeff Goldman, contacted us on August 20, 2016 by email.  Apparently, he had been reporting the pollution to various agencies and his email was desperate.

Stream Restoration is Just One Key piece to the Anacostia River's Revitalization

By: Cyrus Chimento (Stewardship Intern)


Stream restoration projects have been a preferred tool for reducing pollution and gaining TMDL credits. However, it turns out that there is a shortage of data supporting the ability of stream restoration projects to reduce pollution, especially in the long-term.

The Bay Journal’s late October article, “Researchers examining effectiveness of stream restoration”, reported on the question of whether stream restoration, an expensive but favored tool of watershed improvement in Maryland, is resulting in ecological benefits that justify the investment.

What I know about the Anacostia River

By Eva K. Sullivan

This post is republished with permission from  https://evaksullivan.com/2016/09/25/what-i-know-about-the-anacostia-river

What I know about the Anacostia is what others will find out soon, when the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail bike path opens in about a month. This DDOT video shows how the last segment of the trail moves north, up through Anacostia Park, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, under the New York Avenue bridge, toward Bladensburg Waterfront Park, where it will connect DC to Prince Georges County and to Montgomery County via the Northwest Branch Trail.

El regreso de la vegetación acuática sumergida

Escrito y traducido por Alisa Fried, AWS Pasante

The Anacostia River is in a real estate boom, and we need smart development to protect how healthy it has become

By: Jim Foster, AWS President


Nationals Stadium, August 2009

Yesterday's Washington Post reported that the area of the Navy Yard and the Southwest Waterfront, both on the Anacostia River, is the 5th-busiest submarket for rental development in the entire United States. 

Recovery in Action: What Anacostia River Wetland Restoration Looks Like

By: Jorge Bogantes Montero and Maureen Farrington


Bladensburg Wetlands, from August, 2016. Click on pic to open full size in a new tab.

This blog post is a round-up of the wetland restoration posts that appeared on the Anacostia Watershed Society Facebook page through the summer.

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