The Anacostia River touches countless communities across the DC region before flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Though it has suffered from generations of neglect, the promise of a healthy and clean river is within reach. Dedicated to the restoration of the watershed, AWS mobilizes the community to clean, protect, and reconnect with the river. Through hands-on service learning, it engages thousands of local students each year in planting wetland vegetation and cleaning up the shores; and it advocates on the river’s behalf, seeking better stormwater controls and smarter green development. AWS also trains adults to become Watershed Stewards and Master Naturalists, empowering them as advocates for their communities’ environmental health. Year-round events engage thousands more volunteers, and regular recreational, environmentally-friendly activities remind residents of the pleasure that (clean) rivers can bring. Your stewardship, and support, is the next essential resource.
Headquarters: MD-Prince George's County
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County
Age Groups Served: Infants (0-2); Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+); All
Population(s) Served: All; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students
Schools They Work In: We work with more than 50 schools through DC, Prince George's, and Montgomery Counties each year.
- Number of volunteers who work with us annually:
- Number of clients served in outdoor education programs (students/others) annually:
- Acres of land / miles of river protected or preserved annually:
Awards & Recognition
1992 — United Nations Achievement Award
1992 — Sierra Club Outstanding Achievement Award (Sierra Club)
1994 — Excellence in Environmental Education (National Environmental Education Foundation)
1999 — President's Volunteer Action Award (Office of the President of the United States of America)
2000 — Friend of the Potomac Award (Friends of the Potomac)
2006 — Argosy Foundation and etown E-chievement Award
2009 — U.S. Senate Certificate of Special Recognition
2012-2015 -- Rated 5 Stars by Charity Navigator
- Boat Tours Explore Anacostia River
Fri Jul 1 2016, NBC4
Thanks to support from the District Department of Energy & Environment, AWS hosts free boat tours on the Anacostia River for residents.
- After decades of shellacking, river's slow return to life showing up in mussel hunt
Tue May 24 2016, Chesapeake Bay Journal
AWS establishes a baseline population of filter feeders to gauge the Anacostia's health and track its progress
- Washington has its own island oasis. So why isn't anyone going there?
Sat May 7 2016, The Washington Post
AWS President Jim Foster talks about how we need to reconnect residents to Kingman Island and the Anacostia River
- Rain doesn't stop annual Anacostia River cleanup
Sat Apr 23 2016, WJLA ABC7
Despite the rain, thousands of volunteers cleaned up the Anacostia River at 30 sites throughout the watershed in honor of Earth Day.
- How green roofs can save you lots of green
Tue Mar 22 2016, The Washington Post
Rebates available to support the installation of green roofs, which capture rain and lessen the amount of stormwater runoff in local streams
- The current budget for Anacostia Watershed Society is: $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
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