Anacostia Watershed Blog

Anacostia River Story Told Through Photos

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.

DC’s Bag Law – It’s Working!

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 –

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



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