Phyllis Johnson of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Service shakes hands with COG's David Robertson.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) and the USDA, Agricultural Research Service’s Beltsville Area signed an agreement today to improve cooperation between the agencies on issues related to the restoration of the Anacostia Watershed and the Chesapeake Bay.
The watershed of the Anacostia River and its tributaries, long-known throughout the region as seriously polluted, covers 176 square miles in Maryland and the District of Columbia. COG is the lead coordinating organization for its restoration and last year worked with its partners to plant over 1,200 trees and restore streams in the watershed.
“The restoration of both the Anacostia Watershed and Chesapeake Bay are priorities at COG, and today’s agreement is further evidence that the region is making progress on this issue,” said COG Board Member and Greenbelt Mayor Judith Davis. “The Beltsville Agricultural Research Center is an important piece of our ‘green belt’. I support its efforts to improve our local environment.”
The Agricultural Research Service-Beltsville Area includes both the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the United States National Arboretum. Over 95 percent of its land lies within the Anacostia Watershed.
“This agreement will allow our agencies to work together on areas of mutual interest including outreach, education, monitoring, research and restoration,” said Phyllis Johnson, Director of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Service.
The agreement is designed to meet the commitments of the Chesapeake Bay Program in Living Resource Protection and Restoration, Vital Habitat Protection and Restoration, Water Quality Protection and Restoration, Sound Land Use, and Stewardship and Community Engagement.