This report card is your guide to how well our communities, environmental groups, and governments are meeting the goal of a fishable and swimmable Anacostia River, per the terms of the Clean Water Act. Our objective is to provide a benchmark of progress and create accountability for decision makers entrusted with the health of the river. We have analyzed scientific data gathered for core river health parameters and provided a summary so that citizens and public officials can better understand the progress (or lack thereof) toward a healthy Anacostia River.
Sadly today people who know the Anacostia are primarily familiar with it as the “forgotten river,” subject to decades of pollution and neglect. Few people know the proud history of the Anacostia River, when it was a major shipping destination. In colonial times Bladensburg was a bigger port than Baltimore and the river was 40 feet deep to the banks. Freedmen could earn an honest living working the river’s wharves. Fish were so bountiful they could be scooped up from boats, and the marshes of the river were famous for their waterfowl hunting.
The river can again be a thriving community asset. Visit its banks yourself to see the surprising beauty and abundance of wildlife. Make your voice heard in efforts to restore this once proud river to its proper place in the life of our communities.
Click here to download a printable version of the 2011 State of the Anacostia River.