The Anacostia Watershed Society
One of the things I’ve decided to do with this blog is to highlight Washington Metropolitan nonprofit organizations. Since this Sunday is Earth Day the nonprofit I’m highlighting is the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS). The AWS was formed in 1989 by a group of citizens who were concerned about the state of the Anacostia River and its watershed communities.
The Anacostia River flows from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC to its mouth at the Potomac River near downtown Washington. Its watershed encompasses 176 square miles and contains 13 subwatersheds in southeast Washington, DC and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland.
The watershed is composed of three main drainage areas – the Northeast Branch, the Northwest Branch, and the tidal river. The Northeast and Northwest Branches converge in Bladensburg, MD and form the tidal Anacostia River, which flows 8.4 miles through Maryland and Washington, DC until it meets the Potomac River at Hain’s Point. (1)
By the late 1980s the Anacostia River was considered by many scientists and experts as one of the most polluted waterways in the United States. In its early years AWS focused on bringing the health of the river to the attention of the public and to stop the pollution. Recent efforts have been focused on restoring the river. The guiding manifesto for all of AWS activities is “Clean the Water, Recover the Shores, and Honor the Heritage”. The goal of AWS is to make the Anacostia fishable and swimmable.
For the second year in a row the AWS has put out a report card on the Anacostia River. The river is still in poor health but there has been some improvement. Click here to see the report.
On Saturday, April 21 AWS will be having its annual Earth Day clean-up and celebration. For more information and to learn more about the Anacostia Watershed Society click here