GRADING THE RIVER

We regularly provide a progress update on the Anacostia River in part to create accountability for decision makers entrusted with the health of the river. 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. Provided here is a summary of the scientific data we have analyzed so that citizens and public officials can better understand the current state of the Anacostia River.

Progress to a passing grade continues with strong leadership by local government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to clean up and restore the river. However, for the first time, the Anacostia Watershed Society issuing a “Behavior Threatening Promotion” warning because of the threat of devastating cuts to the EPA budget for restoration of the Anacostia River.


Our 2017 Report Card continues the grade of F for water quality conditions that must be overcome for the Anacostia to become healthy.


The Overall Effort and Commitment of government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector to clean up and restore the river has earned a B- in 2017.

 Click here to download a printable one page summary of the 2017 Report Card.

Continue to Our Mission

Continue to Overall Water Quality Assessment

Data Sources and Disclaimers

  • Data set: All available, professionally collected data was used. The data sets include those collected by DC government, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, United States Geological Survey, and the Anacostia Watershed Society.
  • The data was compared with thresholds developed by Mid-Atlantic Tributary Assessment Coalition (MTAC) who created EcoCheck protocols - Sampling and data analysis protocols for Mid-Atlantic tidal tributary indicators.
  • For the 2017 State of the Anacostia River Report, a 2015 data set was used because it was the most recent available data set at time of analysis. However, assessment for Stormwater, Toxics, Trash, and Overall Effort and Commitment is for 2016.
  • For trend analysis, data sets from 1984 to 2014 or 2015 were used depending on the parameter and the section of the river.​
  • Note that no Report Card was issued in 2013 and that the one issued prior to that was dated 2011 (for the year representing most of the available data, rather than the year it was issued, 2012.)

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