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The Anacostia: Restoring a
Ruined River


An Ecologist on the
Anacostia Watershed

Child of the
Urban Wilderness

Summer Students
Explore the Bay

A Blueprint for
the Bay's Future

This Issue's Videos:
Remembering the
old Anacostia

Planting the
new Anacostia

Great blue heron on the Anacostia River - by Skip Brown
Precariously balanced, a great blue heron seems at ease on the Anacostia River. The river provides a home for abundant wildlife, though it flows through the highly urbanized landscape of Washington, D.C.
Recovering the Anacostia

In the dawn light, sleek racing shells skim the surface of the water - against the summer green of trees on the far shore, this could be the Eastern Shore's Chester River or one of many rivers in Chesapeake Bay country. But this is the Anacostia, a more than eight-mile-long urbanized river that runs through the heart of Washington, D.C. - past the Navy Yard, Washington Gas and Light, and beneath four bridges within a mile of each other that carry thousands of commuters into and out of Washington each day. In the midst of all this commotion, natural and human rhythms persist - ospreys nest here, cormorants and blue herons feed along the shore, marinas are busy, fishermen cast their lines.

And yet, there are also the invisible realities of a river that the American Rivers Association has listed as among the most polluted in the nation. Fish advisories recommending limited consumption of fish from the river have been in place for many years - water quality is poor, especially because of bacterial contamination, and sediments are so degraded that the Chesapeake Bay Program has designated the Anacostia, along with Baltimore Harbor and the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, as one of three Regions of Concern in the Chesapeake.     Read more . . .

- The Editors

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