The watershed is one of the most urbanized in the United States. Much of the forestland has been lost to rooftops and roads. The watershed suffers from sewage and stormwater runoff that carries trash, sediments, toxins, oil, and heavy metals into the streams and river. However, the Anacostia River watershed is still home to over 40 species of fish, some 200 species of birds and more than 800,000 people.

Efforts to restore the Anacostia watershed began nearly three decades ago. Since that time, local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as environmental organizations, dedicated private citizens and the utilities have contributed significant resources toward re-establishing as much of the original ecosystem as possible.

In 2006, the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership (AWRP) was formed. The AWRP is a regional, multi-jurisdictional consortium dedicated to restoring and protecting the Anacostia River. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) serves as the administrative home of the AWRP, taking responsibility for facilitating meetings, activities, and information sharing among members of the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership. For more information about the AWRP, please visit www.anacostia.net.

This is a 30 year journey that continues to make significant progress in cleaning up the Anacostia, but there is still much work that needs to be done.