Watershed Restoration: Principles and Practices

Chapter 18: Restoration in an Urban Watershed: Anacostia River of Maryland and the District of Columbia

D. L. Shepp and J. D. Cummins

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569049.ch18

The Anacostia watershed is a largely degraded urban ecosystem located in suburban Maryland and the District of Columbia (Figure 18.1). The Anacostia has often been called “the forgotten river” (Bandler 1988) because, prior to 1987, its decline never received the attention that did its parent in the Washington metropolitan area, the Potomac River. However, a concerted and focused effort to restore the Anacostia watershed began over a decade ago. Since that time, local, state, regional, and federal government agencies, as well as environmental organizations, businesses, and dedicated private citizens have contributed significant resources toward protecting and restoring as much of the watershed ecosystem as possible. Formal cooperation between government agencies came with the 1987 signing of the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Agreement and the formation of the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Committee (AWRC). Members of the AWRC include the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, the state of Maryland, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) as the federal representative and liaison. In addition to the AWRC members, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin provide staff support to the AWRC. Also, the Anacostia Watershed Citizens Advisory Committee was recently created by the AWRC to provide a formal avenue for citizen input and information.