Where has all the water gone?

September 2021


Washington DC is a river city. Located at the intersection of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, a deep connection to the city is traversed by these powerful waterways. In the past, the District was covered in a vast network of streams, waterways, and tributaries. Roughly 70 percent of those historic streams have disappeared as the District developed. During the construction of the city in the 19th and 20th century, many of the streams were covered to make room for the built environment, converted to storm drains, or simply dried up. The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) launched the Uncovering the History of the District's Buried Streams StoryMap to document and map the District’s forgotten waterways, and visualize how the city has evolved overtime. The project also analyzed possible locations to bring some streams back aboveground and restore the habitat that has been lost.

The District government, as outlined in the Sustainable DC 2.0 plan, is committed to improving the quality of its waterways; the aquatic life they support are the foundation of a healthy and vibrant city. Due to this restoration work by committed watershed organizations and the District government, the American Shad, the DC state fish, has been able to flourish. The American Shad migrates into the District’s waters every year to spawn, and from the water improvement and habitat restoration efforts, the American Shad population in the Potomac River has been restored. You can help celebrate by downloading your commemorative shad postcard.

By improving the District’s waterways, we are improving the habitat and quality of life for the District’s wildlife and residents. In the past, the District was home to a vast stream network. With the efforts laid out today, these waterways are being revitalized to create a healthier, greener and thriving river city.



Ready2Play Summer Update! We Want to Hear From You!

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has released a major draft update to the Ready2Play Master Plan, which will guide the DPR development over the next 20 years. This update includes: (1) a draft set of four goals with 13 strategies and 85 specific actions to initiate the plan; (2) a draft Equity Framework, a data analysis tool that will be used to develop the Ready2Play Capital Blueprint, which will guide the agency’s future capital budget requests throughout this plan (as part of this framework, DPR has released a draft Equity Statement that defines its commitment to equity through this plan and as an agency); and (3) the results from the Ready2Play Citywide Survey.

DPR is seeking input to make sure the plan is on the right path. You can review materials and provide feedback online at ready2playdc.com. You can also email your thoughts, comments, and questions to ready2play@dc.gov or leave a voice message by calling (202) 282-2198.

Apply to Join the Green Building Advisory Council

The Green Building Advisory Council (GBAC) is a volunteer commission that makes recommendations on green building policies and monitors the District's compliance with green building requirements. Made up of representatives from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, the GBAC continues to support the District as a leader in green building innovation. You can view previous agendas and minutes from recent GBAC bi-monthly meetings to learn what the group discusses. The GBAC currently has two openings to join the volunteer board: one private sector and one non-profit sector representative who live or work in the District. For more information or apply, visit the website.


Notice of Funding availability – Kingman Rangers Workforce Development Program

DOEE seeks applications from eligible entities to create a Kingman Rangers Workforce Development Program. The new Rangers program will improve the visitor experience and restore habitat on the Anacostia River’s Kingman and Heritage Islands and help create pathways to employment for disadvantaged District residents and students. The amount available for the project is approximately $222,400, with the potential for multiple years and additional funding.

The deadline for application submissions is September 17, 2021. The online application must be time stamped by 11:59 pm on the application deadline.

For more information regarding this funding, visit the funding availability page or email 2021KingmanRangers.grants@dc.gov.

Notice of Funding Availability: Solar Works DC, the District’s Low-Income Solar Photovoltaic Systems Installation and Job Training Program DOEE is seeking entities to submit an application to implement Solar Works DC, a Low-Income Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Installation and Job Training Program for 150 underserved or underemployed District residents, ages 18 years old and older. Solar Works DC provides trainees classroom education and hands-on experience by installing solar PV systems on income-eligible single-family homes and small multifamily dwellings. The amount available for the project is approximately $2,080,000. The deadline for application submissions is September 20, 2021.

For more information regarding this funding, visit the funding availability page or email solarworksdc2021@dc.gov.

Notice of Funding Availability - Returning Citizens Stormwater Workforce Development Program

DOEE seeks eligible entities to provide environmental job training to previously incarcerated persons (returning citizens) who are residents of the District of Columbia to maintain green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) installations in the District. The purpose of this grant is to provide environmental job training for up to 12 returning citizens/DC residents, and to lessen the impact of stormwater runoff on the District’s waterways through investment in GSI. The amount available for this grant is $230,000 per calendar year. This project could be extended for a total of three years, depending on funding availability and on DOEE’s determination of the quality of the grantee’s efforts. The deadline for application submissions is September 21, 2021.

For more information, visit the DOEE funding availability page or email 2121ReturningCitizensSWDP@dc.gov.


DC Department of Energy and Environment – Program Analyst  

Located in the Department of Energy and Environment Urban Sustainability Administration, this position will help launch and lead the District’s new Donation and Reuse Program. This will include coordinating closely with non-governmental organizations and District government agencies, providing education and engagement to residents on opportunities for donation and reuse, developing new donation and reuse opportunities (both events and ideally permanent options), and working with emergency preparedness staff to respond to unsolicited donations during emergency situations. The incumbent of this position will procure and administer public-facing technology platforms for direct donation coordination and to facilitate exchange of used and surplus materials. Perform public education and outreach on avoiding single-use products and encouraging reusable items. Support and expand the District's reuse infrastructure through site donation drop-off programs, fix-it clinics, and non-governmental donation facilities; and prepare for and respond to emergency situations that result in surges of unsolicited donations in partnership with non-governmental donation facilities while reporting to Council on above programs as required by law. 

The applications for this position closes on September 29For more information, or to apply for this position, visit the DC Careers website, Job ID 14298.  

DC Department of Energy and Environment - Program Analyst  

Located in the Department of Energy and Environment, Urban Sustainability Administration, this position will advise and support coordination within the Urban Sustainability Administration, the agency, and with community partners to broaden and strengthen climate mitigation and adaptation efforts on behalf of the city, as well as maximize equitable outcomes related to climate action, climate adaptation and urban sustainability. The incumbent will help to meet DOEE’s expanding workload related to climate change planning and greenhouse gas emissions reporting, as well as climate adaptation and resilience. DOEE’s work on climate has also expanded to include planning to achieve the District’s carbon neutrality goals and responsibilities for monitoring and reporting progress towards our global climate commitments, along with staffing the Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency. 

The incumbent will help support Implement Climate Ready DC, the District’s plan to adapt to a changing climate. Support the implementation of Carbon Free DC, the District’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through research, analysis, and stakeholder coordination. Support annual reporting on the District’s progress towards meeting its climate goals including data collection, trend analysis, and reporting to external partners including CDP and C40 Cities. Staff the Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency, which is charged with identifying best practices in resiliency, evaluating projected impacts of climate change on critical infrastructure, and developing proactive solutions to mitigate these impacts. Coordinate with District agencies including Department of General Services, Office of Planning, Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Public Works, and District Department of Transportation on climate change policies and programs. Build partnerships with community organizations to help ensure that the District Government’s climate goals correspond with identified community priorities. 

Applications are due by October 4For more information about job posting, please visit the DC careers website using job ID 14297 

Graduate Internship at the Office of Planning

The Office of Planning (OP), in partnership with the District Department of Transportation’s Internship Program and Howard University, is recruiting for one paid graduate student to intern at OP for fall 2021. The intern will help support three OP projects including the DC Upward Mobility Project, the Deanwood Small Area Plan (SAP), and the Ivy City SAP. These three projects are cross-cutting, focused on equity, and support efforts for the agency as we move forward with the implementation of the updated Comprehensive Plan. Led by OP and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the DC Upward Mobility Project is aimed at shaping and coordinating the District’s approach to bolstering key economic and social mobility outcomes for DC residents of color. 

For more information about the internship and on how graduate students can apply, please visit: hutrc.org/2021dcupward.

The Building Electrification Institute is Hiring!

The Building Electrification Institute (BEI) is committed to helping cities across North America accelerate an equitable transition away from fossil fuels in buildings through building electrification. BEI is seeking a self-starting team player to join our relatively small team to provide direct assistance to our cities and support the growth of the organization. BEI is looking for candidates who are enthusiastic about solving climate change and addressing racial injustices and who will enjoy working directly with city staff to advance building electrification.

How to Apply: Interested candidates can apply by providing a resume and a written response (5-10 sentences maximum) to one of the following prompts: 1) Please describe a time when you advocated for your community’s needs within your work; or 2) Please describe a time when you worked closely with an under-served community to advocate for their needs.

Please email your resume and written response to BEIJobApplications@gmail.com by September 30, 2021. Please check our LinkedIn page for any updates on our hiring process and timeline.


Sign up to be a Fix-It DC Coach

Celebrate repair! Help others learn to disassemble and troubleshoot their stuff by signing up to be a Fix-It DC Coach. Fix-It DC is an all-ages community event where people bring their broken household items and learn how to assess, disassemble, and repair them instead of sending them to the landfill.  We’re looking for volunteer coaches with knowledge and skills to repair a wide variety of items from common household goods to electronics and musical instruments. 

Being a Fix-It DC Coach is easy, simply provide participants with encouragement to investigate their broken item, and, guidance with tools. Sign up to be one of our Fix-it Coaches!

Our Fix-It Coaches have found that participating in Fix-It DC is a valuable way to promote their business and meet potential new customers. If you would like to learn more about Fix-It DC program or would like to sign up to be a coach, visit the Fix-It DC website


Shepherd Parkway Community Clean-Up!  

Help restore Shepherd Parkway by removing trash and invasive vines that are smothering trees. Join the Ward 8 Woods Conservancy and other volunteers on Saturday, October 9, from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm to help revitalize these historic woods. Shepherd Parkway is 197 acres of forests that includes the remains of Civil War forts, and is home to many plants and animals, including bald eagles. Volunteers can enjoy the morning removing trash and cutting invasive vines, while spending time in nature and helping to restore the woodlands.   

For more details about the event, visit their website or go to the Eventbrite registration page.  

clean up


PARK(ing) Day

PARK(ing) Day returns to the District of Columbia on Friday, September 17, 2021, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. This annual event is an opportunity to highlight the District’s sustainability efforts and to kick off car-free day activities by building pop-up parks in curbside parking spaces throughout the District's eight wards. PARK(ing) Day is an event in which residents and businesses re-think the use of public space by converting metered on-street parking spaces into temporary parks. These park spaces further the Sustainable DC Plan’s goals to make DC the greenest, healthiest, and most livable city in the nation.

Parking day

eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.


The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablet, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

  • Saturday, September 18, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm 4321 Ord St NE (near Kenilworth Recreation Center Farmer’s Market)
  • Saturday, September 18, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5625 Connecticut Ave NW (near Chevy Chase Library)
  • Saturday, September 25, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 1922 Frederick Douglass Court SE (near Douglass Community Center
  • Saturday, September 25, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, 3160 16th St NW (near Mt. Pleasant Library)

Fishing in the District!

Would you like to go fishing but don’t know where to go or what equipment you need? The DC Department of Energy and Environment’s Fisheries & Wildlife staff can help you get started! Join us Saturday, September 25, from 8:30 am -10:30 am at Aquatic Resources Education Center in Anacostia Park, to enjoy a morning of fishing and fun for the whole family! Beginners and advanced anglers welcome! For more information about the events, visit the DOEE Learn to Fish website or view the Event's Flyer!


WalkingTown DC 2021

WalkingTown DC is DC's best public tour program, featuring over 50 guided walking tours in neighborhoods throughout the District. This popular annual event will take place from September 18 – 16, and introduces residents and visitors to the art, culture, and history of Washington, DC through a series of "bite-size" lunchtime tours, after-work "happy hour" tours, and longer weekend tours. WalkingTown DC connects you to the hidden gems of DC and the serpentine history the District has faced Tours are led by historians, licensed tour guides, community leaders and business owners, enthusiasts and docents, who all donate their time and expertise for this annual festival. For more information about the tours and how to participate, visit the Cultural Tourism DC Website.

what we're reading

Uncovering the History of the District's Buried Streams: This StoryMap investigates the legacy of stream loss of “burial” as the District evolved into its modem form. It identifies these buried streams and discusses the potential for their restoration.   

The Early History of Washington, DC: In this podcast episode, Adam Costanzo, Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University, joins us to consider why and how the United States Congress built the national capital on the banks of the Potomac River. During our exploration of the national capital’s journey to Washington, DC, Adam reveals why the national capital of the United States settled along the banks of the Potomac River.

70% of D.C.’s Streams Have Disappeared. Where Did They Go?: This article explores Washington DC as a river city, built at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia. Once upon a time, the District was laced with a vast network of tributaries – but roughly 70% of those historic streams disappeared as the city developed.  

Why Doesn't Georgetown Have A Metro Station? It Goes Beyond NIMBYism: This article by NPR explores the planning of the Washington DC Metro and why Georgetown is absent of a metro-rail station.

Temperatures in D.C.’s Heat Islands, Can Register Ten to Twenty Degrees Hotter Than in Leafy Neighborhoods: For those that live and work in those places, exposure to that heat can be uncomfortable and outright dangerous. This article by the Washington City Paper explores the urban heat island effect in DC and the discrepancies of implications felt across the different wards.




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