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.
By: Maryn Foreman, Spring Stewardship Intern
Red foxes are everywhere, maybe even in your backyard! The red fox has become accustomed to an urban habitat by using sheds for nests, eating exposed garbage and mice. Since mice are abundant in cities, the fox offers great rodent control. It has been documented that fox even live longer in urban environments. The coyote and bald eagle are some other natural predators native to this area, but they do not adapt as well to the urban environment, giving the fox a competitive advantage.
Illustration: Dorling Kindersley, Getty Images.
Due to the frustration of both AWS and volunteers who have been picking up trash over and over along our river’s shores, I was given a project in 2008 to design and install a trash trap in a small stream called Nash Run that flows through parts of Prince George’s County and the northeast area of Washington, D.C. The goal is to catch the trash around the mouth of the stream before it is carried into the tidal portion of the Anacostia via Kenilworth Marsh especially during heavy rains.
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