Anacostia Watershed Blog

Going Green - Not Just for People with Money

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.

Working With DC Teachers



DCEEC facilitators helping teachers assemble water quality test kits

Baltimore Aquarium Conservation Team visits AWS

ACT staff with Stewardship Team Masaya presenting at Nash Run Trash Trap
Aquarium Conservation Team staff at Bladensburg Waterfront Park (above) and visiting the Nash Run Trash Trap (below).

On Monday, my fellow Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer Laura Cattell brought her Conservation Team at the National Aquarium in Baltimore down for a visit.  We had the pleasure of introducing them to our watershed, engaging them in some cleanup work and sharing trade secrets.

As we always do, we highlighted the historic quality of the Anacostia River -- how much life in the early colonial period of this area depended on the river -- as well as showing our organization's approach to the challenges we face today.  Our guests were amazed when Eric mentioned that prior to agricultural development and unsustainable settlement, Bladensburg was a bigger port than Baltimore!

Support a Prince George's County Bag Bill

The Anacostia River is so severely impacted by trash that in 2007 it was declared impaired by trash under the provisions of the Clean Water Act.  Only the second river in the country to be so designated, and the first multi-jurisdictional river (Maryland and DC), in 2010 a trash TMDL, or pollution diet, was issued that requires Anacostia jurisdictions to reduce the amount of trash entering the river.

At the end of 2008 AWS released a scientific study of trash in the Anacostia River.  One of the key findings of this study was that 33% of the trash in the tidal river was plastic bags, while nearly 50% of the trash in tributary streams was plastic bags.

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.

Students from Mt. Rainier Elementary School Collect Seeds of Native Plants

By: Carey Goldman, Stewardship Fall Intern

I Never Knew Planting Trees Could Be So Much Fun!

By AWS Volunteer Katie Huber


Katie Huber Planting Trees with AWS

**Originally Posted on Katie Huber's blog "D.C. Student Guide to Environmental Action" on October 17, 2011.  Check out her blog to see what else she's been up to!**

This Saturday I volunteered with the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) at Magruder Park in Hyattsville, Maryland. I was really excited all week about going to plant trees, yet when my alarm went off at 7:45 am I really wondered why I was doing this to myself. But, I’m so glad I got myself up and out the door. I can honestly say that planting trees with AWS is one of my favorite experiences in DC so far!

Collapsing Infrastructure - the Power of Concentrated Stormwater Runoff in Streams

 


April 28, 2011: Highly Exposed Sewer Pipe was identified
by AWS, in the Takoma Tributary of Sligo Creek in
Prince George’s County, Maryland.

 


August 9, 2011: This pipe was fine or there was no change

until this time.

 


August 17, 2011: A portion of concrete was peeled off.

Save the Forested Buffer in the Wheaton Sector Plan


Sligo Creek, a tributary of the Anacostia River

Today AWS is calling on Montgomery County Council to save the last remaining forested area in the Wheaton Sector Plan.  This green forested buffer contains remnant streams and headwater catchments that drain to Sligo Creek (of Northwest Branch of the Anacostia) and to Lower Rock Creek.  Mapping, protecting, and expanding existing green forest buffers is one of the most important first steps we can take in any watershed restoration program.  The Council did the right thing by making watershed restoration a core objective of the sector plan, but now they must finish the job by enacting specific protections for the forest buffer around Wheaton mall.

Wheaton Sector Plan: Preserve and Expand the Green Forest Buffer

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