The COG Board voted unanimously at its June meeting to adopt a resolution to create a leadership council and steering committee focused on restoring the Anacostia watershed.
Creation of the committee dates back to March 2005, when representatives of key jurisdictions and other stakeholders held a retreat to address ways to accelerate restoration progress and increase effectiveness. That retreat and subsequent discussions reinforced the need for a Comprehensive Restoration Plan adopted by an executive level Anacostia Watershed Restoration Leadership Council.
In February 2006, Mayor Anthony Williams expressed his support for strengthening the restoration partnership and requested that the matter be referred to COG’s Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee for their recommendation. The committee forwarded the resolution, "To Establish the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Council for the Purpose of Strengthening the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership," to the Board and recommended its adoption.
The 176-square-mile watershed is home to 800,000 residents and encompasses parts of Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia. Most of the development in the heavily developed watershed occurred before modern stormwater management was required. Dredging, filling of wetlands, fish passage blockages and aging wastewater systems have also contributed to poor water quality. In 1987, the County Executives of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the Governor of Maryland signed the first of several agreements to cooperate in the restoration of the watershed.