An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Urban Waters Partnership

Meetings & Events about Anacostia Watershed (Washington, DC/Maryland)

On this page:


Anacostia River Pilot highlighted in Press Event 

Officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and key U.S. federal agencies including the Department of the Interior, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency gathered at Bladensburg Waterfront Park on November 4, 2011 to highlight progress made to restore the Anacostia River Watershed and call attention to projects underway to transform it into a model urban waterway and park. Home to more than 800,000 residents, 43 species of fish and more than 200 species of birds, the restoration of the Anacostia River Watershed and the development of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail has twice been identified as a priority project for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP). Both initiatives seek to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors and revitalize urban waterways in underserved communities across the country.

Partnership was a strong theme from the day. Presenters remarked that restoring local places to where for the environment, business, and residents is only possible because of innovative efforts to work together. Partners in Anacostia are working to make their efforts for the River a model for the nation, showing how transforming the environment can lead to opportunities to promote the health and well-being of communities. Hopefully, these efforts change the perception of watersheds like the Anacostia so they can become cherished for the amenities they provide to local people. 

During this event, Senator Cardin presented a signed photo of the river to Jim Connolly, Chairman of Board for Anacostia Watershed Society and to Dennis Chestnut, Executive Director of GroundWork Anacostia for their dedication and work to improving the Anacostia watershed.


Top of Page


Top Federal, D.C. and Maryland Leaders Commit to Transform Anacostia Riverfront into Model Urban Waterway and Park

Officials Participate in Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Celebrate Launch of Anacostia River Watershed Pilot Project

November 4, 2011

BLADENSBURG, M.D.— Officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and key U.S. federal agencies including the Department of the Interior, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency today gathered at Bladensburg Waterfront Park to highlight progress made to restore the Anacostia River Watershed and call attention to projects underway to transform it into a model urban waterway and park.

Home to more than 800,000 residents, 43 species of fish and more than 200 species of birds, the restoration of the Anacostia River Watershed and the development of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail has twice been identified as a priority project for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP). This initiative seeks to revitalize urban waterways in underserved communities across the country.

Efforts to restore the Anacostia River to health have been ongoing. DC and Maryland government plan to work with federal partners to invest in trails and parks, bringing new life to the communities and habitats that line the Anacostia River. The Anacostia River trail will be a lasting benefit since local people will have a new transit route connecting them to jobs and schools, which also encourages development and environmental protection. Using trails this way has the added benefit of being an affordable and completely green transportation option. 

Another goal of restoring the Anacostia is to transform it into a place where businesses want to set up shop and hire and where people can come together and build connection. 

With scarce federal funding, investing in projects with multiple benefits that pull resources from existing pools is not only innovative. This strategy helps make communities more livable and economically viable. While the Anacostia has been historically important to the region as a route for trade and connecting communities, those living along much of its banks are economically vulnerable. With federal and local government collaborating on a ten-year Anacostia River restoration plan and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, this area has demonstrated commitment and momentum towards restoring the entire watershed. 


 

At today's event, officials participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the recent completion of 1.5 miles of trail in Maryland and exemplifying the strong ongoing local, state, and federal collaboration to provide additional opportunities for residents and visitors to access and enjoy Anacostia Park and the Anacostia River.

During the ribbon cutting, the state announced $1 million in additional state funding to develop a trail link that will connect Maryland and the District of Columbia's Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Network. Once complete, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Network will offer nearly 60 miles of contiguous trails – including 39 miles in Maryland and 20 miles in the District of Columbia.

Officials and locals are hopeful that completing one of the Nation's largest trail networks will allow the region to pursue more efforts to link up and create a system for bikers, walkers, and commuters throughout the area.

In addition to increasing public access through the development of trails, the District of Columbia and Maryland have been working with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency on several river cleanup and restoration projects. One such example showcasing the benefits of partnership is the Watts Branch Project, an innovative urban stream restoration project that will prevent 1,500 tons of erosion from entering the Anacostia. For more information on this project, please view the fact sheet below.

Top of Page