Anacostia Watershed Restoration
The ANS conservation team works with local government and citizen groups to clean the Anacostia watershed by preventing runoff from pollution sources.
Anacostia River Restoration Gets a Boost
On June 27, 2013, Adam Ortiz, Acting Director of the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources (PG-DER), wrote to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), urging improvements to the forthcoming municipal stormwater permit for Prince George's County. ANS Conservation Director Diane Cameron, along with colleagues from the Prince George's County Healthy Communities Coalition, met repeatedly over the past year with PG-DER officials to discuss the crucial role of this permit in restoring the Anacostia, Patuxent, and Potomac Rivers.
Ortiz and Acting Deputy Director Larry Coffmann are planning to install tens of thousands of rain gardens, tree plantings, and other green stormwater retrofit projects over the next five years in Prince George's County. Cameron testified that this investment could generate up to 9,000 green jobs. The mandate for this green renaissance will be set by the permit issued by MDE — depending on whether and to what extent MDE officials adopt the ten permit changes requested by the Coalition and DER's leaders. Coalition leaders lauded the strong environmental leadership on the part of Prince George's County officials.
Other ANS activities on behalf of the river
- encouraging Anacostia jurisdictions to invest in low- and moderate-cost green stormwater retrofit solutions, particularly those using trees; presenting findings to a national conference on low-impact development;
|On February 13, 2013, Diane Cameron (speaking, 3rd from left at table) took part in a DC Clean Rivers Lobby Morning at the Wilson Building in the District of Columbia, to ask District of Columbia Mayor Gray and the DC Council to support the stormwater and wetlands regulations proposed by the District's Department of the Environment. The Lobby Morning was organized by Chris Weiss, leader of the DC Environmental Network.|
- advocating for and advising on the 157 RainScape stormwater retrofits installed in the Anacostia portion of Montgomery County over the past five years (since the program's inception) and the 636 such retrofits installed countywide;
- working with the Montgomery County Council and local civic groups to win protection of the Wheaton forested buffer and restoration commitments for Sligo Creek (an Anacostia tributary) and Silver Creek (which flows into Rock Creek) in the Wheaton Sector Plan;
- collaborating with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Friends of Sligo Creek to design a way to assess private properties for their RainScapes potential;
- collaborating with local builders, Conservation Montgomery, Casey Trees, and Montgomery DEP to draft a Stormwater Tree Practice that will give landowners a stormwater reduction credit for planting or saving trees;
- leading a team of Habitat for Humanity volunteers to install 525 flowering native plants in more than a dozen rain gardens in Northeast Washington east of the Anacostia River;
- working with the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, which includes local governments and private developers, to create and use a method of tracking and reporting stormwater projects' costs and benefits;
- along with partner groups, creating the Prince George's County Healthy Communities Coalition to press for a stronger county stormwater permit, dedicated stormwater utility fees, and more green infrastructure projects;
- conducting three green infrastructure workshops for landscapers and activists; leading two tours of Step Pool Storm Conveyances for local officials, engineers, and architects;
- leading the Anacostia Advocates Coalition, coordinating the agenda and messaging throughout the Anacostia watershed; and
- serving on the Steering Committee and supporting the Watershed Stewards Academy, training stewards to build rain gardens and conservation landscapes.