• aerial view of Anacostia River
  • map of Anacostia River
  • aerial view of Anacostia River Watershed Restoration
  • anacostia river in Washington, DC
  • water view of Anacostia River in Washington, DC
  • aerial view from the Anacostia River to the DC metropolitan area
  • aerial view of Washington DC
10-year program will revive DC’s Anacostia River

The Anacostia River flows more than eight miles from Prince George’s County in Maryland through Washington, D.C., where it joins the Washington Channel and empties into the Potomac River. Its name derives from the Anacostan Native Americans who once lived on the riverbanks.

Challenge
Once a highly productive ecosystem, the Anacostia River was home to numerous fish species, such as sturgeon and American shad. Beginning in the 1950s, raw sewage entered the river and its tributaries from antiquated sewer systems, damaging the river’s environmental health by:

  • Producing fecal coliform bacteria and other pathogens that created a public health threat.
  • Impairing water quality.
  • Degrading habitats.
  • Creating hypoxic conditions that lead to large fish kills.

Solution
Louis Berger is assisting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in crafting a 10-year Anacostia River Watershed Restoration Plan. The firm conducted a review of each sub-watershed and performed a pre-field geographic information system analysis to identify candidate restoration sites. Field teams visited more than 3,700 sites to evaluate stream, wetland and riparian restoration options; fish blockage concerns; stormwater retrofits; and trash reduction opportunities.

More than 2,500 candidate restorations were identified in 14 sub-watersheds. The project will include wetland and stream restoration, reforestation and trash reduction.