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Project ID: 2005DC71B

Title: An Analytical Study of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Law, Institutions, and Policy, Water Quality

Keywords: environmental equity and pollution

Start Date: 06/01/2005

End Date: 02/28/2006

Federal Funds: $15,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $0

Congressional District: District of Columbia

Principal Investigator:
Julius Ndumbe


The Anacostia and Potomac Rivers run through Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. This study will focus exclusively on the segments of the rivers that run through the District of Columbia. Both rivers are important tributaries of the Chesapeake basin. In recent years, there has been the increased demand for the restoration of urban rivers. This demand has been sparked by increased pollution levels of rivers; thus culminating to environmental degradation and other and other adverse effects. Over the years there has been an increasing focus on cleaning river in the United States. Urban rivers that have undergone restoration include the Bronx River in New York and the Charleston River in South Carolina. Heavy polluted rivers such the Anacostia, have not received greater attention until recently. This reluctance in action and attitudes by planners and policy makers raised serious concerns. There are those who question the efficacy of existing policies vis-à-vis the restoration of urban rivers and those who attribute slow governmental efforts to environmental inequity. Whatever the case; the central issue is how to arrest the pollution levels in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and restore a sustainable life for these rivers. River pollution occurs because industrial and agricultural chemicals and waste are poorly managed and disposed as well as increased urbanization. Pollution levels adversely affect the environment and cause serious health problems. To mitigate these problems, policy makers, researchers and planners must understand the gravity, nature and scope of the problem. This study will use content analysis to investigate the problem. The researcher will peruse through the body of literature to understand the character and nature of the pollution levels in these river. An analysis will be carried out and some recommendations will be provided. This study will address the following areas:

1. Present state of the Anacostia and Potomac rivers.
2. Sources of Pollution and its effect on the life of the rivers.
3. Government action
4. Recommendations

These issues raised provide a compelling justification for a critical examination to be conducted.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Friday June 3, 2005 12:05 PM
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