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DC Appleseed_A New Day for the Anacostia Report

DC Appleseed_A New Day for the Anacostia Report

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Published by Lydia DePillis

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Published by: Lydia DePillis on May 02, 2011
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 A national Model for urban river revitalization1
 A New Day 
urban river revitalization a national model for 
dc Appleseed
for the
 a new day for the anacostia 2
 a new day for the anacostia 22
Cover art from D.C. Oce of Planning
Te Anacostia River has long been considered Washington’s “other” river—one that divides our city, ourregion, and our Nation’s Capital economically, geographically, racially, and socially. For more than 20 years,many individuals, organizations, and agencies have worked passionately and tirelessly in the ace o hugechallenges and much resignation to address these injustices and improve the condition o this River and itstributaries. oday, the once-orgotten Anacostia has been rediscovered and embraced as a precious resourceby our community’s residents and by local and regional government leaders.During these years much has been achieved. Te discharge o raw sewage is being addressed, wetlands arebeing restored, and trash has been reduced. For the frst time, a comprehensive restoration plan now exists.Te Anacostia Waterront Initiative has helped catalyze $3 billion o investments along the Capitol Riverront.New and improved riverside parks are providing new civic spaces or rest, relaxation, and recreation in the midsto a congested urban environment.Trough it all, DC Appleseed, its dedicated sta and extraordinary Board, have played a critical leadership role.Teir 1999 report called or the District government to improve its stormwater management and administrationand adopt an impervious surace ee. In 2003, they led the way in calling or the development o a compre-hensive Anacostia restoration plan. And they have been—and continue to be—instrumental in bringing aboutimproved regulations, policies, and environmental standards or waterront development. Yet DC Appleseed would be the frst to acknowledge that much work remains to be done. Despite solid prog-ress, the Anacostia remains one o the most degraded urban rivers in the nation. Tis report, then, is designedto assess the current state o the restoration eort, and to oer substantive recommendations that can acceleratethe restoration process.Over these past two decades, nearly every step orward has occurred despite claims that “it can’t be done,”“no one really cares,” and “it will always be the way it is.” While ully aware o the challenges ahead, DC Apple-seed proudly stands or a new uture: a clean and active Anacostia, with healthy recreational opportunities,a pristine shoreline uncluttered by trash, green jobs and economic development, revitalized neighborhoods,and a valuable resource or those who come rom near and ar to enjoy its contribution to a vital, improved,sustainable quality o lie or the city and region. Imagine the day, 15 or 20 years rom now, when our childrenswim in this beautiul River, fshermen pull their resh, healthy catch rom its waters, and we all reect onthe transormation that has occurred in the Anacostia and its watershed. Tis report will help bring that newday closer.
L H
,Executive Director 
Summit Fund of Washington

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