approximately 2/3 of brown bullhead fish
have cancerous tumors or lesions because of toxics

Toxics in the river are one of the main reasons that it is not safe to swim in or eat fish from the Anacostia River. A toxic is a chemical or mixture that is harmful to another organism. A legacy toxic site has been identified as a well known, high risk toxic site that has been contaminating the environment for a long period of time. 

There are 6 legacy toxic sites along the Anacostia River:

  • Kenilworth Park (former DC dump)
  • Washington Gas (former coal gasification plant)
  • Washington Navy Yard (formerly heavy industrial site)
  • Southeast Federal Center (formerly part of Navy Yard)
  • Pepco's Benning Road Facility (former coal-fired power plant and current maintenance yard)
  • Poplar Point at Anacostia Park (former federal facility of various uses and pollutants)

Read about our Current Campaigns to find out more information about each site and what action is being taken. Our History of Legacy Toxic Sites gives past information about legal action against these sites.

Below please find resources and information to further explain where we stand on this issue.



Blog Posts

To see all of our blog posts related to toxics, click here.

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