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Restoration Plan Released For Anacostia River

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Plans to restore the Anacostia River were unveiled today.
Megan McGrath/WRC
Plans to restore the Anacostia River were unveiled today.

By ALEX DOMINGUEZ Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) Politicians, policymakers and environmentalists gathered to remember Washington's forgotten river on Monday, releasing a plan to restore the Anacostia, which flows through some of Washington's most distressed neighborhoods.

Restoring the river that flows through Southeast Washington will not only help the environment but the communities it passes, as well as the more well-known Potomac, which it feeds, said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

Hoyer predicted millions would come to new development along the banks of the river if it is restored.

"Ladies and gentlemen, if it is to be, it's up to us," Hoyer said.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district's nonvoting member of Congress, said the river has been the stepchild of the region even though it flows 2,000 yards from the United States Capitol.

"Let's make this the last time the Anacostia is called the forgotten river," Norton said.

The Army Corps of Engineers has worked for two years on the plan along with D.C., Maryland and local officials. Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army, said the plan consists of 3,000 individual projects and is expected to cost $1.7 billion.

Dana Minerva, executive director of the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership, said the group hopes the cost will be split among the federal, state and local partners. She noted many of the projects fit in with efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay meet new stormwater runoff regulations.

The announcement was made on the banks of the river at a park in suburban Maryland.

Christine Wells, who was walking her dog by the river, said the Anacostia is cleaner than it used to be, but is still polluted.

"When it gets really hot, you might smell it a little bit, but there's not as much trash as there used to be," Wells said.

Anacostia plan: www.anacostia.net/plan.html (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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