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Urban Waters Partnership

Program Updates - Anacostia


The Anacostia River Partnership (DC/MD) celebrated the Year of the AnacostiaExit, officially recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives. Over 50,000 people attended over 200 Year of the Anacostia events. The March opening of the DC Water Anacostia Tunnel Project marked a major infrastructure milestone for the Year of the Anacostia. From March through December 31, the tunnel prevented 4.5 billion gallons of sewage, and nearly 900 tons of trash, solids and debris, from entering the Anacostia.


Connecting for a Cleaner Anacostia

The District Department of Energy and Environment and the National Park Service held a meeting on Wednesday, June 21, called “Connecting for a Cleaner Anacostia River: Meeting for Stakeholders.” The event introduced initial findings from sediment studies and discussed current river conditions, potential sources of pollution, unique challenges of cleaning the Anacostia River, and possible cleanup options.

Click here for more info on the project. Exit

Diversifying your Partnership

The Anacostia Ambassador presented “Diversifying Your Partnership: The Anacostia Experience” alongside the Anacostia Watershed Society, Zion Baptist Church and the East River Family Strengthening Collaborative at the Choose Clean Water conference in Charlottesville, VA, on May 23.

RainPay Garden in Southeast DC

On May 11, 2017, the Anacostia Waterfront Trust was joined by the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC), US Environmental Protection Agency, District Department of Energy and Environment, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to cut the ribbon on the Trust’s first RainPay rain garden at the PNBC headquarters near Watts Branch, a tributary of the Anacostia River. The RainPay rain garden earned the District’s first Stormwater Retention Credits (SRCs) for a purely voluntary project sited within the Anacostia MS4 drainage area. Proceeds from selling the SRCs to developers or the District will be used to pay for the lease to PNBC, ongoing maintenance, and reinvestment in additional RainPay sites at houses of worship, affordable housing developments and nonprofits that will further restore the Anacostia and its tributaries.

Article on balancing development with restoration

The Christian Science Monitor published an article about how the activities around the Los Angeles River and Washington's Anacostia River could test how well communities can balance new development with opportunities for longstanding residents.

Read the full article hereExit

Enhancing Coordination

On March 27, Anacostia Ambassador Katherine Antos convened a meeting with local government agencies, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, and watershed organizations working within the Anacostia watershed to discuss opportunities to enhance coordination and facilitate ecosystem restoration activities. Participants identified the following priorities for coordination: 1. building a regional analysis of the level of effort needed to achieve a healthy watershed; 2. enhancing engagement, outreach, and behavior change efforts to increase stewardship opportunities; 3. streamlining or accelerating the permitting process for restoration activities; and 4. enhancing workforce development opportunities through restoration and maintenance work. Participants will work with the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership to explore options for watershed-level analyses and pursue Restoration Roundtables to further engage key agencies and organizations.

Expanding Diversity Presentation

Jim Foster of the Anacostia Watershed Society, Reverend Keith Kitchen of Zion Baptist Church of Eastland Gardens, Angele Doyne of East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, and Anacostia Ambassador Katherine Antos will be leading a workshop on expanding the diversity of partnerships to envision healthy waterfronts at the May 24-25, 2017 Choose Clean Water Conference in Charlottesville, VA.

Click here for more informationExit

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum recognized by Urban Waters Learning Network

The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum was featured on the Urban Waters Learning Network website in an impact piece on their research and civic engagement with the communities surrounding the Anacostia River Watershed. Through the years, the museum has hosted a variety of exhibits on the history and preservation of the watershed as a component of the Urban Waters Program.

Read the article here. Exit


2017 Planning

The Anacostia Park and Community Collaborative, which includes 18 community-based and city-wide nonprofit organizations, met on November 30th. Discussion focused on activities in 2017 that would support the goal of community-led, equitable revitalization of the Anacostia River parks, adjacent neighborhoods, and a thorough cleanup of the Anacostia River.

Preparing for DC 100 Resilient Cities Launch

On November 29th, the Anacostia Partnership and the Environmental Law Institute gave a presentation to DC's 100 Resilient Cities Launch Team about an innovative proposal to create resilience corridors in the District. The corridors would catalyze community-based planning and implementation efforts to address a variety of sustainability goals. 

Read the Ambassador's blog on resiliency here. Exit

Wilderness Inquiry's Canoemobile on the Anacostia

Thanks to the National Park Trust, Izaak Walton League, and National Park Service, students learned about wildlife along the river, water quality, and impacts of pollution through land-based activities in addition to taking canoes out on the water. Wilderness Inquiry's Canoemobile took District of Columbia and Maryland students out on the Anacostia River from October 31 - November 4. 

Urban Waters Ambassador named to the Federal Agency of Stormwater Management Workgroup

On November 3, Katherine Antos, Anacostia Ambassador, participated in a meeting with staff from EPA, DoD, General Services Administration, National Parks Service, National Capital Planning Commission, and the District Department of Energy and Environment to discuss federal agencies' stormwater management within the District of Columbia. Katherine was named a member of the Federal Agency Stormwater Management MOU Workgroup and will work with the agencies on projects which will help meet water quality goals for receiving waters, including the Anacostia River and the Chesapeake Bay. 

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

On October 31, federal and state leaders gathered to commemorate the opening of a 4-mile segment of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. This creates a network of almost 70 miles of trails in the District, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties and provides access to 16 waterfront communities. The Riverwalk Trail is the culmination of over two decades of planning and was funded by federal, state, and local funds totaling over $22 million. Plans exist to continue expanding the trail network. 

Festival del Rio Anacostia

The Anacostia River area will be celebrating the first ever "Festival del Rio Anacostia," an evironmental and cultural festival to connect the Latino community with the Anacostia River and its restoration. The event will feature demonstrations, boat tours, games, food, and more.

Park(ing) Day

Anacostia Urban Waters Ambassador, Katherine Antos, participated in two Park(ing) Day events on Friday, September 16th to increase awareness about the Anacostia River. Park(ing) Day is a national event that temporarily turns city parking spaces into mini parks. The first site was co-hosted by the National Park Service, and focused on parkland and rivers in the DC area. The second site was hosted by the DC City Council and featured five organizations working on the Anacostia: the Anacostia Waterfront Trust, Wahington Parks and People, Living Classrooms, The Nature Conservancy, DC Urban Green, and Washington Area Bicyclists Association. Both spots created an excellent opportunity to gather the public's and local officials' vision for what a healthy Anacostia would mean for the citizens of the region. 


Anacostia Riverwalk Trail to recieve $10 million

The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail project was selected from over 400 applications to receive $10 million from the US Department of Transportation to complete the final portion of the trail. The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail serves as a backbone of the Anacostia Waterfront, connecting residents, visitors and communities to the river, one another, and numerous commercial and recreational destinations. The National Park Service played a critical role in developing the successful proposal.

Earth Conservation Corps offers water quality workshops to local students

The Earth Conservation Corps has a wonderful Water Quality Monitoring program for students as citizen scientists. ECC has introduced this program to students in the Washington DC area. Students visit the ECC pumphouse on the Anacostia River where the water quality monitoring occurs.

The Earth Conservation Corps Exit is a key partner in the Anacostia Watershed location.

Students as Citizen Scientists: Water Quality Monitoring (1 pg, 2015, About PDF)You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

The East Capitol Urban Farm

The Anacostia UWFP location, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), and the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) partnered to transform an abandoned parcel into the District’s largest-scale urban farm and aquaponics facility – the East Capitol Urban Farm. The farm promotes urban agriculture and improves nutrition through a community-centered farmers market; offers nutrition education; provides community gardening; creates opportunities for entrepreneurship; and includes a research and demonstration site for UDC. This opportunity for partners is to develop this farm as a model for temporary use of vacant lots while demonstrating on-site stormwater management and local food production.

UDC's CAUSES initiative and students from the Maya Angelou School Young Adult Learning Center put the finishing touches on the farm on December 4th, 2015.

Read: Are Mobile Urban Farms a Good Use of Space in DC? Exit

Read about the build day on the EPA Blog Exit.