Anacostia Watershed Restoration project plan in Prince George’s County gets green light from Army Corps

Published Dec. 20, 2018

BALTIMORE - Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, chief of Engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has signed the Chief’s Report for the Anacostia Watershed Restoration study in Prince George’s County that recommends restoring 7 miles of instream habitat, opening 4 miles for fish passage and connecting 14 miles of stream to previously restored stream reaches.

The study was executed by the Army Corps’ Baltimore District in partnership with Prince George’s County Department of the Environment.

The signed Chief’s Report means the study has been approved in order for Congress to authorize and provide funding for the project. The estimated cost of the project is $34.1 million, to be cost shared between Baltimore District and Prince George’s County Department of the Environment.

The 86-square-mile portion of the Anacostia River watershed in Prince George’s County accounts for almost half of the total watershed area. Human development and alteration in the watershed have led to severe stream habitat damage, including excess sediment and erosion; physical blockages for fish movement; poor water quality; and loss of wetlands and forests along the Anacostia River and its tributaries.

Historically, the watershed had more than 50 fish species. Now, it is limited to just 20 to 30 fish species.

The project would remove fish blockages on Northwest Branch and Sligo Creek, increasing access for alewife and blueback herring to their historical range and spawning areas from approximately 20 percent to more than 80 percent on the Northwest Branch and from 10 percent to 90 percent on the Northeast Branch. The habitat restoration component would also support diversity and abundance of native fish and other resident fish species.

This plan is in alignment with the 2010 interagency Anacostia Restoration Plan that identified more than 3,000 projects for implementation within the watershed.

Sarah Lazo

Release no. 18-074