Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Chesapeake Bay Field Office: Restoring Urban Watersheds Starts With Streams
Northeast Region, November 4, 2011
Print Friendly Version
Section of Watts Branch before restoration
Section of Watts Branch before restoration - Photo Credit: Mark Secrist, USFWS
Same section of Watts Branch after restoration
Same section of Watts Branch after restoration - Photo Credit: Marck Secrist, USFWS

The Anacostia River, a focus area for the Chesapeake Bay Field Office, is also a pilot for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership - a collaborative initiative to revitalize polluted urban waterways to improve natural resources, the quality of life of surrounding communities and the local economy.


The job of restoring the Anacostia River and its tributaries is a daunting task. Activities like removing trash or patching eroding banks may help treat some of the symptoms. But a more holistic approach is needed for the Anacostia to support thriving communities of fish and other wildlife.

To do this, the Chesapeake Bay Field Office (Service), District of Columbia Department of the Environment, and Natural Resources Conservation Service formed a partnership to restore 1.8 miles of Watts Branch, a severely degraded stream in the Anacostia River watershed.

Piped and concrete-lined storm drains altered the hydrology of Watts Branch, making it unstable and causing severe bank and bed erosion. In-stream structures were installed to improve in-channel habitat and reduce bank erosion. Floodplain creation will allow for the storage of floodwater; improve nutrient uptake, and increase channel stability. A riparian corridor of native grasses, shrubs, and trees will provide long-term bank stability and provide valuable streamside habitat for a host of species.

For more information contact:
Mark Secrist

On the Wild Side Fall 2011: Restoring an Urban Watershed
Contact Info: Kathryn Reshetiloff, 410-573-4582, kathryn_reshetiloff@fws.gov
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State

Search by Region

US Fish and Wildlife Service footer