Anacostia Watershed Blog

South River Shoreline Reforestation: 200+ Native Trees and Shrubs Planted

Volunteers help plant trees and shrubs on a slope of the South River shoreline in the Heritage Harbor community.

On May 2nd the South River Federation, Chesapeake Bay Trust, CBT’s Chesapeake Conservation Corps, Watershed Stewards Academy, DoubleTree Hotel, Heritage Harbor residence, and other community volunteers joined forces to plant over 200 trees and shrubs on a small section of the South River’s shoreline.  Congressman John Sarbanes was also on site to talk to everyone about his thoughts on the environment, the importance of reforesting the area, and what it means for the future of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed as well as future generations of watershed stewards.

Congressman John Sarbanes (center) talking to volunteers.

115 Trees Planted to Celebrate Earth Day

Maret Students Hard at Work

This year the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) held our annual watershed-wide cleanup on Saturday, April 9th, but that didn't stop us from doing a lot of good during the week of Earth Day proper.  We started out the week by planting 80 trees on the Northwest Branch tributary trail with students from the Maret School.  

Maret School Group Photo

AWS Files to Intervene in Pepco Cleanup Suit

Pepco Benning Road - identified toxic site

Today the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS), Anacostia Riverkeeper (ARK), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are filing a motion to intervene in the District of Columbia's suit against Pepco regarding cleanup of the Benning Road facility.  Over the years, toxic chemical spills at the facility have created a serious pollution problem that impacts the health of the river and the health of the communities living near the Benning Road facility. 

Michelle Obama's Earth Day Plans with AWS Rained Out

Happy Earth Day!  Several Anacostia Watershed Society staff members were set to attend an event today with First Lady Michelle Obama today to celebrate Earth Day, but unfortunately the weather had other plans.  The event was scheduled for this afternoon at Fort Dupont Park in Washington, DC where AWS does a lot of work with volunteers to control invasive plants.  Mrs. Obama was going to take part in a habitat improvement project with a group of local students. 

Students remove invasive plants at Fort Dupont Park during an AWS volunteer event last spring.

Despite the cancelation, the event was still mentioned in several local and national news outlets:

2011 Earth Day River Cleanup a huge success!

The annual AWS Earth Day event was held on Saturday, April 9th this year at several sites in the Anacostia Watershed.  Despite the chilly weather,  lots of amazing volunteers still came to pick up trash and recyclables both on land and on the river in canoes. 


Stream Waders Program - Assessing the Health of Streams

On March 18, 2001, Water Quality Specialist Masaya Maeda of Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) along with energetic volunteers, a carver - Bob Kraft, and Chris Moore, took macroinvertebrates from Upper Beaverdam Creek of the Anacostia River.  Macroinvertebrates are bottom-dwelling aquatic insects.  Some insects like to live in clean water; others are tolerant to pollution.  By identifying insects we can learn whether the stream is clean or polluted.

Chris Moore taking samples

Bob Kraft taking samples

AWS Kicks off Earth Day week with FOX 5

The Anacostia Watershed Society's Brent Bolin, Ariel Trahan and Emily Gillespie were at Bladensburg Waterfront Park bright and early this morning to jump start Earth Day week with FOX 5's Paul Raphel. 

AWS Director of Advocacy Brent Bolin talks about the newly released State of the Anacostia River Report Card with FOX 5 Reporter Paul Raphel.

FOX 5 is holding a special "Haul Your Hazards" day this Friday, April 22nd, coinciding with the world-wide celebration of Earth Day.  In addition, they are highlighting local environmental stories in the DC area throughout the week. 

Vernal Pool Season

Vernal pools, like the one pictured above in the upper part of the Anacostia River Watershed, are vital breeding habitat for Spotted salamanders, Jefferson Salamanders, wood frogs, fairy shrimp and other species. 

Vernal pools, also called seasonal pools, are extremely dynamic temporary wetlands that consist of ephemeral pools of water where fish are normally absent.  Vernal pools fill with stormwater, surface runoff, snowmelt, and groundwater in the fall, winter, or spring and may be completely dry by the summer.  They provide important breeding habitat for rare and threatened amphibians (e.g. mole salamanders), unique invertebrate communities, plants, and habitat to other wildlife species such as turtles, snakes, birds and mammals.  Vernal pools are important elements of the landscape and its continuum of woodlands and wetlands, they provide very important habitat for aquatic-dependent species.

Our First Ever State of The River Report Card Released

The Anacostia Watershed Society and Anacostia Riverkeeper are proud to announce the release of our first ever State of the Anacostia River report card.  This annual report card is your guide to how well our communities, environmental groups, and, governments are doing in making the Anacostia River fishable and swimmable.  We will be mailing thousands of copies to members and elected officials starting this week.

Click here to download a PDF of the report card:  2010 State of the Anacostia River

Check out the in-depth online version with additional information on the Anacostia Riverkeeper website.

2011 Internship Positions Have Been Filled

After reviewing nearly 20 resumes and conducting 11 interviews we had to make some tough decisions to narrow the list down to five Stewardship Interns, and we are still in the process of selecting two more interns from the applicants we already have.  That will completely fill up our Stewardship intern capacity for the upcoming summer.  Thanks very much to all the applicants for your interest in AWS and the stewardship work we do to clean and restore the Anacostia River.  We will introduce you to all our amazing 2011 Stewardship Interns soon! 



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