about south river federation

June 30, 2011 Who says we don’t have anything in common with Iraq? I found out first hand that we do have something—the Anacostia River.

On June 30th, I got to take part in a very unique “call to action” event—the Anacostia River Plunge. The SouthRIVERKEEPER®, Diana Muller, her two children, and I went up to the Blandensburg Waterfront Park to support the Anacostia RIVERKEEPER® and the Anacostia Watershed Society in their efforts to make people realize the importance of cleaning up the Anacostia.

When we arrived at the plunge site, one of the supporters, who currently lives in Iraq, looked at all of the trash and said “Wow, that looks a lot like Iraq” meaning it looked like the Tigris River, where she spends her time trying to protect and improve it. We were also greeted by a giant Recyclops created from trash pulled from the Anacostia.

Former state Senator Winegrad, Senator Paul Pinksy, Dr. Howard Ernst, David Harrington, and former Senator Joe Tydings were all present for the plunge. Many local politicians, RIVERKEEPERS®, local supporters, and news crews were present to watch us wade into the Anacostia in hazmat suits and waders. Many people did not risk the chance of infection by going into the water and watched from the sideline. One local politician waded in with his business suit and said it will take serious work to clean up this river and I came here to do serious work.

It is sad to say that the Anacostia, our Nation’s Capital river, is one of the dirtiest rivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. We, the United States, pride ourselves on being the best. So shouldn’t every aspect of our country be the best, including our rivers. “We are a first world country with third world rivers, “ said Dr. Andrew Muller. Third world countries don’t quite have the resources to improve their rivers, but we do! We have let them fall by the wayside and we are well past the timeline set by our government for fishable/swimmable water. So when will it be time to focus on our rivers—when we all have to wear hazmat suits. Is it then, people will decide it’s time to clean up our water.