The Anacostia Project will use photography and other visual arts to help build and define watershed identity around the Anacostia River. Connecting residents and their actions to the river will help local river advocates build a groundswell for keeping the wild Anacostia wild, and promoting river restoration efforts in the national capital.

I have been documenting the Anacostia and building partnerships since July 2010 as a member of the Chesapeake Bay RAVE team put together by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the International League of Conservation Photographers. The Anacostia Project will continue this work. I will spend another year photographing the river and its tributaries--the good the bad and the ugly. During this time period I will work with field scientists from local agencies and non-profits to catalogue the biodiversity and conservation status of river, and to document ecosystem dynamics during flood and drought events. These photos will be disseminated in a multi-year outreach campaign to watershed residents and policy makers.

The Anacostia outreach campaign will include:

  1. Bullet  An outdoor exhibit that will travel around the watershed in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Washington D.C. Some of the prints will have action alerts--the date of a river clean-up, the phone number of the county executive, or selected websites-- so that people who see the photos can take meaningful action to help the river.

  1. Bullet  A blog and series of stories about ongoing events and issues on the river

  1. Bullet  A series of public art exhibitions done in collaboration with visual artists, dancers and musicians in the Gateway Arts District

  1. Bullet  A multimedia documentary video

  1. Bullet  A river-focused summer art camp for public school students taught by students at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and sponsored by the Daniel DiTondo Foundation

  1. Bullet  A prepackaged arts-integrated curriculum on the Anacostia River that will be furnished free to the region’s public schools.

The Anacostia Project will also take photos and other river resources directly to decision makers in the watershed.  Making the Anacostia more visible in watershed communities will help give conservation organizations the momentum needed to secure restoration funding and commitments from area governments.

Many residents have forgotten the Anacostia even exists, or would like to, as it is a reminder of poverty, neglect and urban decay. Nobody likes to dwell on the failures of society. But sometimes forgetfulness can be the most dangerous thing for the environment and human communities. This project seeks to help watershed residents remember. 


Take Action

  1. Bullet Seeking funding partners for this project element!

  1. Bullet Project underway!