Did you know that the National Mall used to be a creek? In fact, much of downtown DC is below sea level, and rests on old swampland. The next time it rains, walk over to the Tidal Basin and take a look at some of the low-lying areas there — you might find that some of the sidewalks are underwater… because the Tidal Basin is slowly sinking back into the creek bed underneath it.
Washington DC is on top of and surrounded by water and wetlands, yet the residents are afraid to swim or fish in its waters. In fact, the Potomac River is one of the most polluted rivers in the nation. How did the streams and waterways of the nation’s Capitol become so polluted? Is this a harbinger of things to come to the rest of the nation? In celebration of World Water Day on March 22, how can we improve our rivers and make them gleaming examples of how to restore a watershed?
Fortunately for Washington DC’s wetlands, things are turning around. The DC “bag tax” has helped raise over 4 million dollars to help restore the Anacostia Rivershed. DC is also home to numerous non-profits that look after the rivers and streams of our nation’s Capitol, and wetland clean-ups are being held every weekend to help clean up our waters. In fact, the Alice Ferguson Foundation is holding the 25th Annual Potomac Watershed Clean Up on April 6, and have multiple programs and initiatives for a Trash Free Potomac. Won’t you help celebrate World Water Day by pitching in and help clean up a stream near you?
Check out these great organizations that clean up our water ways:
- Groundwork Anacostia
- Anacostia Watershed Society
- Anacostia Riverkeeper
- American Rivers
- Potomac Conservancy
- Potomac Riverkeeper
- Interstate Commision on the Potomac River Basin
Did we forget to list your favorite watershed non-profit? Contact us and let us know about your non-profit, and we’ll add it to the list!