Thousands Turn Out To Clean the Anacostia River, Celebrate Heroes

Anacostia Watershed Society Hosts Largest and Most Successful Earth Day Clean Up on the Anacostia River

Volunteers at Earth Day 2015Bladensburg, MD, April 27, 2015 – More than 2600 local residents and dozens of corporate partners came out Saturday April 25th to participate in the Anacostia Watershed Society’s Earth Day Clean Up and Celebration.

Individuals, families and corporate teams fanned out from 30 sites on foot and in canoes, gathering trash from the river banks and parkland up and down the river.  The most prevalent form of trash were plastic foam food containers and cups, and plastic water bottles.  These common items, discarded by the side of the road, are flushed into the Anacostia River and its tributaries with every heavy rainstorm.  Among the larger items fished out of the river by the volunteers were a massive television, a mattress, several shopping carts and more than 100 used tires.

This year for the first time, “Heroes” of the Anacostia River were recognized for their leadership.  Adam Ortiz, Director of the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Lisa Feldt, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, and Tommy Wells, Director of the District of Columbia Department of the Environment paid tribute to the five heroes and awarded them their Anacostia River Super Hero capes.  

The 2015 Anacostia River Heroes are:

Sarah Woodhead, Director of Capital Programs at the Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland, who is overseeing the installation of green infrastructure in the Counties’ schools; 

Marian Dombrowski, founder and leader of Friends of Quincy Run, a citizens group working to restore and protect the health of the neglected stream that flows into the Anacostia River;

David Goodenow one of the ringleaders of the Potomac Piranhas, a group of business leaders using TV’s “Shark Tank” model to focus entrepreneurs on starting businesses that will clean the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.  

Dolly Davis, a community leader and environmental activist, leader of the Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance in Washington DC and environmental educator at Fort DuPont Park; 

El’Jay Johnson an artist, musician and award winning poet who uses poetry and performance art to raise awareness of the issues that are not only harming the environment, but are also harming those who live in it.  

2015 Anacostia River Heroes

(Photo, left to right: Marian Dombrowski, Dolly Davis, El’Jay Johnson, David Goodenow, Sarah Woodhead.  Photo by Bruce McNeil)

The Anacostia Watershed Society Earth Day Clean Up and Celebration was presented by Title Sponsor CSX; Gold Sponsors PEPCO and Bloomberg; Silver Sponsors CH2MHill, REI, and the Alcoa Foundation; and more than 30 other corporate and government partners.   The Earth Day Clean Up was co-founded by the Seafarers Yacht Club who continue to support the event by cooking and serving lunch to all of the attendees. 

"Individuals, families, community leaders, corporations and government agencies all coming together is how we’ve achieved incredible progress cleaning up the Anacostia River, and it’s how we’ll make it to our goal of swimmable and fishable by 2025,” said Jim Foster, President of the Anacostia Watershed Society. 

 

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