Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two Rivers Run Through It: The Potomac and Anacostia Rivers of Washington, DC

The Alice Ferguson Foundation has posted some results of the Potomac Watershed Cleanup held on Saturday, April 14th.  Thanks to your good efforts, with 392 sites reporting , some 124 TONS of trash were collected including 1252 tires, 138,650 recyclable beverage containers, more than 25,000 plastic bags and more than 28,000 cigarette butts. Among the interesting items pulled from the watershed were a deer Skull, dishwasher, a bucket of tar, a car radio, a couch, car parts, 3 bicycles, a stroller, a good football, a basketball and soccer ball, an American Flag and lots of foam packing material.  The good news is that as this trash was pulled from the watershed, it won’t be making its way to the Chesapeake Bay!

Meanwhile, the Anacostia Watershed Society has released their 2011 State of the Anacostia Report. Unfortunately, the report gives failing grades to the state of the river's water quality from its mouth at the Potomac River up to its crossing into Maryland. Trash brought in by stormwater runoff is the most evident issue, but toxins and the stormwater itself are serious issues that affect plants, animals and fish. On the bright side, D.C. gets a "thumbs up" for its river improvement plan. DC’s 5-cent plastic bag tax is reducing the amount of bags found in the water. Still, if we are to have a clean and swimmable Anacostia, Maryland and the Federal Government are going to have to pass and enforce legislation that will limit runoff from farms and industries. Find a full copy of the report, at