Yes, indeed. Even in our highly urban watershed there are still some valuable biodiversity gems in need of conservation. Even though it is evident that a bulk of the species of plants and animals occurring in the Anacostia River watershed are widespread in the region and are “secure” to “apparently secure” according to NatureServe’s conservation status ranking system. But, with a decent area of natural habitats protected as public parks there’s got to be some “valuable” (conservation-wise) species rare species, and there are indeed.
By Margie Noonan and Ashley Parker
You may remember our most recent DNR blog post from December in which we reported on our stream cleanup with GEMS students from William Wirt Middle School, in Riverdale, MD. While winter has slowed down our outdoor restoration efforts, our staff has been hard at work coordinating with engineers and local community members on the process for rebuilding Briers Mill Run and two of its outfalls that have become a danger to the community. The Anacostia Watershed Society selected KCI Technologies to come up with a design that will stabilize the erosion occurring around the outfalls and improve the Briers Mill Run riparian corridor behind William Wirt.
Friend of the Anacostia Watershed Society, Becky Harlan, recently completed a story about the Anacostia River told through her great photographs! Becky grew up in TN, has a BA in Art History from Furman University and an MA in New Media Photojournalism from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. She still resides in our nation’s capital, where she can be found telling stories about the interaction between community and environment.
See Becky’s work:
A Briny Challenge to Cleaning the River
By Jorge Bogantes Montero
Natural Resources Specialist
With the exceptional polar surges we had earlier on, and a few significant snowstorms, the road salting season is in full swing. And with it come gargantuan quantities of sand applied to the sidewalks and roadways, often over applied, causing negative impacts on the waterways and the biodiversity of the watershed. This is one of the biggest challenges we face to improving the water quality in the Anacostia River and its tributaries since Sodium Chloride NaCl (aka salt) can affect the soils, water (both surface and ground water), plants and animals. Contamination of sodium in drinking water has been an issue in other areas of the country which is a concerning public health issue.
A new study shows that Washington DC’s Bag Law is working for both consumers and businesses. That’s the conclusion of a study commissioned by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) that surveyed residents and businesses to measure the impact of the law that was implemented four years ago to reduce plastic bag litter, especially in streams and the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Across the District there has been a significant reduction in disposable bag use: businesses have reduced their use of bags by 50% on average, and four in five DC residents now carry reusable bags when shopping, with 58% stating that they carry them “most of the time” or “always.”
Of the 600 randomly surveyed DC residents –
By Ashley Parker and Alecia Donaldson
The Washington Post, District of DeBonis
By: Mike DeBonis
"Since July, a 442-foot-long machine named “Lady Bird” has been chewing through clay deep underneath the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant in Southwest Washington. It’s the first segment of 13 miles of 26-foot-wide tunnels set to be bored underneath the Anacostia River to keep sewage and storm runoff out of the waterway..."
By Ashley Stanton
Last week, AWS employed two herds of goats to begin eating kudzu along Nicholson St. and the Northwest Branch in Hyattsville. Kudzu is an invasive vine that takes over native plants and destroys wildlife habitat. We couldn’t be happier with the results of this effort! Not only did the goats reduce the invasive biomass by more than half, they entertained the surrounding community and reconnected the residents to their local watershed.
You may have heard about "the vine that ate the south", Kudzu. Or you may have googled the name of the invasive just to get a peek at the plentiful photos of the vine available on the web. This includes staggering pictures of the vine choking out shrubs, trees, cars and even entire houses! Well, Kudzu is not just a problem of the south, anymore. The vine has been gradually spreading out of the the southeast where it was originally introduced to tackle the overwhelming soil erosion problems faced in that region as a result of unsustainable farming practices. Nowadays Kudzu can be found north and west all the way to Michigan, upstate New York and Washington state.
The heat island effect created by the highly urban environment of the Anacostia watershed makes it a Kudzu haven.
By Ashley Stanton and Chris Myers
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