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
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).
By: Ashley Stanton, Restoration Project Manager
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.
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.
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.
By: Cooper Breeden, Stewardship Intern
What better way to have welcomed spring than with the arrival of American shad! Shad are an anadromous species, meaning they live in the oceans and migrate into freshwater rivers and streams to spawn. Other well known anadromous species include Striped Bass and Salmon. After spawning, adult shad return to the ocean and the juveniles remain in the freshwater until autumn when they swim to the ocean where they will live for a few years until mature. Shad begin their migration once the river temperatures reach the mid-50s, which typically happens sometime at the end of March. This year the winter was unusually long, so the shad run did not begin until mid April.
Some say grocery store plastic bags are the #1 trash item. Others say plastic bottles, while still others say styrofoam. What is really the number one trash item found?
A short answer to this question is it depends on where you are and how data is collected. Another short answer is that all statements are correct.
When you walk along a tributary to a larger river such as the Anacostia River, you will likely see plastic bags and assume this is our #1 trash item. Plastic bags are easily snagged by vegetation such as tree branches, so they are often seen in and along tributaries. Jim Collier and Cynthia Collier, contractors for the AWS, conducted a survey and wrote a report on trash in 2008 titled ANACOSTIA WATERSHED TRASH REDUCTION PLAN. According to their survey, approximately 47% of trash pieces that were counted in streams were plastic grocery bags-- the #1 category.
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