Anacostia Watershed Blog

AWS Honored as a Maryland Green Center

We're officially a Maryland Green Center!
Now we can help the schools we work with to become Green Schools!

The Anacostia Watershed Society was one of seven environmental/outdoor centers to be newly certified as Maryland Green Centers at the Maryland Green School Awards Ceremony and Youth Summit on June 3rd at Sandy Point State Park. Certification of Maryland Green Centers is administered by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE).

The certificates we received for becoming a Maryland Green Center including one from Representative Chris Van Hollen and Senator Ben Cardin.

Chesapeake Conservation Corps Adventures on Smith Island

This sign can be seen from the docks in the Chesapeake Bay while approaching Tylerton, MD.

The Chesapeake Conservation Corps (CCC) Volunteers had an incredible opportunity to experience environmental education training on Smith Island from May 31st - June 2nd.  We were welcomed to the island and the town of Tylerton, population of approximately 56 people, by three Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) staff members who live on the island.  CBF owns two houses located right near the Bay in which we stayed: Mullins House and Bay House (see photos below).  The trip taught us about providing environmental education but I was also able to see how the issues we (AWS) deal with on the Anacostia River are problems for the entire Bay.

Mullins House

Make Your Voice Heard on Quality of Life in Prince George's County

This Thursday, June 9, 2011, at 10:00am in room 2027 of the County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro, the Prince George's County Council will hear CB-15-2011.  This bill will set standards for stormwater management on future developments in the county.  What's at stake?  Whether the county will build green or build gray.

June 9 - Prince George's County Council committee hearing on stormwater bill

The Prince George's County Council is once again taking up the issue of stormwater management, after voting to table needed legislation in the fall.  (The county is currently out of compliance with state law and has been for over a year.) 

Stormwater is the polluted runoff that comes from roofs, roads, and parking lots when it rains, carrying trash, debris, and pollutants into storm drains that empty directly into the Anacostia River.  Polluted stormwater runoff flows into the Anacostia from parking lots and other impervious surfaces in developed areas because current county law does not require adequate stormwater management.  These insufficient stormwater management requirements mean that developers get to build projects without properly accounting for the stormwater runoff and water pollution generated by their projects.  If sewage treatment plants, factories, and other polluters have to clean up their pollution, why do we let developers get away with water pollution that kills our streams and floods our communities?  Remember, existing development has caused existing problems.

A Meadow Under Construction

We are absolutely thrilled about our work at the Anacostia Riparian Meadow Restoration (ARMR) project site!  Today we finished the seed sowing after an intensive site preparation season, which would have not been possible without the help of our volunteers and interns.  By the way, our Summer Stewardship Intern Team just got started with us this week and we'll talk more about them soon.

Flower of the Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa).

Nash Run Trash Trap Replacement


Figure 1: Photo taken on 3/26 Nash Run Trash Trap Cleanup event
Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (KEAQ) helped clean up the trap.

Thanks to many people who volunteered to maintain our Nash Run Trash Trap, it has been working very well.  The trap has captured about 3,000 lbs of trash (water/contents of bottles drained, no leaves and other natural organic matter) collected from February 2009 through March 2011.

A Day in the Marsh

Students from University Park Elementary School prepare to take their arrow arum plants out into the marsh.

This week 130 students participated in wetland plantings in Kenilworth Marsh. Students from University Park Elementary School and Achievement Preparatory Academy spent the morning transplanting arrow arum, wild rice, and spatterdock into the mudflats of Kenilworth Marsh.  These students are participating in our Rice Rangers Program.  As participants in the program, the students raise wetland plant seedlings in their classrooms that are then transplanted into the marsh.  By restoring the wetlands along the Anacostia River, these students are not only restoring the habitat, but also increasing the filtering capacity of the river.

2011 is the International Year of Forests

Thirty one percent of the earth's land surface is carpeted with forests.  From the mighty Alaskan boreal forests and the lush Neotropical rainforests of Central and South America to the local temperate deciduous forests of the Anacostia Watershed, one thing is for sure: forests are not optional. Forests have a paramount role in the world's environmental health and our livelihoods.  They provide an irreplaceable suite of ecosystem services, some of them highly valued by the society whereas others have been overly taken for granted because they lack a formal market.  That's why the United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all the world's forests.

Toxics Cleanup Community Meeting Wednesday, May 11

AWS and its partners in the Toxics Team invite you to a community meeting regarding the cleanup of the Pepco Benning Road site.  The lead sponsor is Toxics Team member DC Environmental Health Collaborative, led by Dr. Janet Phoenix.

Pepco Benning Road Location

Please feel free to attend this event or contact Brent Bolin at with any questions.  Additional information can be found below.

The DC Environmental Health Collaborative is hosting an important meeting about something that may be affecting your family’s health.


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.



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