When was the last time the Anacostia River got any good press?
I'm a native Washingtonian and I can't recall any. Even the positive story in Chesapeake Bay Magazine, that I am about to refer to you, goes by the headline The Bad and the Beautiful. The subhead tells the full story, however. "Washington's hard-luck Anacostia River may be the city's ace in the hole." (February 2012 issue, pp 22- 27, continued on pp 48-49)
The Anacostia is still muddy, still polluted, still infested with litter and I wouldn't eat anything caught in those waters, but the river is about to get the mother of all face lifts along with the nearby Washington Channel.
The projects are already underway, kicked off by the District of Columbia's heavy and much fought-over investment National's Park, the baseball stadium.
The magazine story touches on that, goes into the District's Southwest waterfront project for the nearby Washington channel and has waxes eloquent about features about the river of interest to small craft boaters. Yes, Anacostia still features wildlife areas. The Kenilworth Gardens, contains the sole remaining marsh that was the dominant feature of the area when George Washington picked the place as the nation's capital.
The area is important to the Potomac River Power Squadron. It was born there in 1915 when Dr. A.B. Bennett, then cruise captain of the Corinthian Yacht Club, convinced members of his club and the nearby Capital Yacht Club to join the power squadron movement.
The Corinthian was based on St. James Creek on the Anacostia. The have since moved downriver, but Capital Yacht Club remains on the Washington Channel. News accounts of the day reported squadron on-water activity from the channel to Occoquan Bay.
Potomac River Squadron is one of many sponsors of the Anacostia River Cleanup Day held annually on Arbor Day. Past Commander Howard Gasaway, Sr., P, is the spark plug behind both the squadron's participation and the clean-up day itself.
Long articles are hard on eyes, especially old ones, when read online. So look for the February 2012 edition of Chesapeake Bay Magazine, if you can find it.
For a brief history of Potomac River Power Squadron, check out the Founders Day presentation posted on SlideShare here.
Other Anacostia links:
washingtonpost.com - Anacostia River from then till now.
Anacostia Watershed Society web site - http://www.anacostiaws.org/
State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources - The Anacostia: River of Recovery
.pdf document - History of the Corinthian Yacht Club.
Web site - History of the Capital Yacht Club.
Web site - History of the District Yacht Club.
Web site - History of the Seafarer's Yacht Club.