Today marks the start of Lent, a 40 day period that Christians use for personal reflection in preparation for Easter. As part of that reflection, many people give up something that they feel is inhibiting their lives – alcohol, chocolate and other sweets are some of the most popular things to “give up.” If you’re looking for something unique that will be good for you and good for the community, how about giving up plastic shopping bags.
Why give up the bag? A major study conducted by AWS found that plastic bags make up at least 21% of trash in the Anacostia River. These bags clog storm drains, cause flooding, are harmful to wildlife, and are virtually impossible to clean up.
By Vaughn Perry
Stewards pose for a picture in front of their capstone project at First United Methodist church.
Here at the Anacostia Watershed Society we’re always looking for opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beautiful areas surrounding the Anacostia River. So, we were excited when our friends at REI announced they would be closing all their stores on Black Friday, November 27th, to encourage folks to spend time with their friends and family in the great outdoors.
We agree that nature can be a great place to reconnect, reflect, and enjoy the Thanksgiving season. We are lucky to have numerous opportunities to get outside right here in the Anacostia Watershed. While there are countless opportunities to enjoy the Anacostia, here are a few ideas to get outside on Black Friday:
By: Shaun Courtney, District Source
By Mattie Lehman, AWS Public Policy and Advocacy Intern
Each year lotus and lily blooms at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens (KAG) in Northeastern DC attract large numbers of nature lovers and photographers to view the flowers, wildlife, and unique aquatic plants that make up the marsh area. Thanks to the efforts of the Anacostia Watershed Society, one view visitors do not see is the trash that once plagued the Gardens.
Upstream, the Nash Run Trash Trap operated by AWS stops and collects litter which previously would have made its way towards KAG and ended up in the Anacostia River. The Trap began as a joint project of AWS and the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment in February 2009. Since that time, AWS has continued to maintain the trap and installed an updated version in 2011 designed by Masaya Maeda, AWS Water Quality Specialist.
From left to right: Speakers Scott Kratz, Valarie Camillo, Amy Guise, Bob Vogel, and AWS Board Chair Elissa Feldman
Bladensburg, MD September 22, 2015 – As the Washington DC community welcomed Pope Francis, the Anacostia Watershed Society and its faith partners celebrated continued progress toward the goal of a swimmable and fishable Anacostia River by 2025.
Hello! My name is Joanna Fisher and I’m the new Volunteer Program Manager here at the Anacostia Watershed Society. I joined the team in late July when I had the opportunity to work alongside our departing Volunteer Coordinator Ann DeSanctis. Ann has made tremendous contributions to AWS and we’re all very excited for her next endeavor at graduate school. Ann and I have organized lots of exciting volunteer opportunities in the coming weeks, make sure to check out our calendar to learn more!
By Dan Smith & Lori Baranoff
July 24 -- This week the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council – governors, the D.C. mayor, federal agency heads – convened for their annual meeting, this time at the National Arboretum on the Anacostia River. Their “big picture” focus on meeting major milestones necessary for a clean Bay by 2025 kept them from the river just down the hill -- where they may have glimpsed a bald eagle plucking a fish or a rower taking a lunch time canoe break on a gorgeous summer day. Those are river experiences we love to share and that show why this effort is so important.
By: Audrey Pleva
Wild Celery underwater in the Susquehanna River. Credit: Debbie Hinkle, Chesapeake Quarterly
AWS is now moving underwater and beginning an exciting effort to restore the river’s submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). These beautiful grasses are essential to cleaning the river and providing oxygen to our suffocating fish and other aquatic organisms.
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