Anacostia Watershed Blog

AWS Partners with GEMS to Clean Briers Mill Run

By Ashley Parker and Alecia Donaldson

Go inside the giant tunnel now being dug under Southwest D.C.

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..."

Click here to read more of Mike's article and to check out D.C. Water's video looking at the earliest stages of drilling in the tunnel.

The AWS Fall 2013 Goat Round-up!

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.

The Vine that Ate the South

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.

Goats to the Rescue!

By Ashley Stanton and Chris Myers

Demolition of the Pepco Benning Road Power Plant

Pepco Energy Services has announced that they have plans to completely demolish the power plant that sits just off of Benning Road NE near the Anacostia River.


Google satellite image of the Pepco Benning Road facility (property boundary highlighted in red) – the power plant structure occupies only 25% of the site which is bordered by the Anacostia River (West), a DC Solid Waste Station and the National Park Service Kenilworth Maintenance Yard (North), residential areas (East and South), and Benning Road (South).

The AWS Community Stormwater Improvement Project

By: Ashley Stanton, Restoration Project Manager

Stormwater Utility Fee= Watershed Protection and Restoration

By: Jim Foster, President

Recently AWS received our bill from Prince George's County DER for our stormwater fee.  At first we weren't sure what it was.  But quickly we found the fantastic brochure in the envelope that explained in simple terms what this fee is about.  I like the brochure so much, I scanned it and sent to my board with the comment "pinch me"!  Of course we immediately and proudly paid the bill. This money will be used to restore our waterways by installing natural features to control rainfall.

Indian Creek Experiences Flood & Sediment Event From Water Main Blowout

By: Mary Abe, Manager of Stewardship

On Saturday morning July 20th, Neil Gehrels, AWS member and donor, noted that at the confluence of  Indian Creek and Paint Branch at Lake Artemesia, Indian Creek was at its flood stage as well as butterscotch in color-indicative of sediment runoff.  Paint Branch was at normal stream stage with no signs extreme sedimentation. No rain events had occurred so Mr. Gehrels contacted AWS to investigate.

The Problem With Fishing For Catfish in the Anacostia River

By: Veronica Pereira, Stewardship intern

You might be asking yourself, “What could be so bad about fishing for catfish in the Anacostia?” The answer is that it’s not the actual act of fishing in the Anacostia that is bad. The problem with fishing for catfish is that if the catfish are consumed, they may cause serious health effects on those who eat them. 


Brown bullheads like this one are commonly caught from the Anacostia River by anglers and used for consumption (including people at greater risk such as pregnant women and children). These fish are known to have carcinogens in their bodies making their consumption a potential and worrisome public health issue.

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