BLADENSBERG, MD– U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Senate Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, today joined top officials from Maryland, the District of Columbia and key U.S. federal to highlight progress made to restore the Anacostia River Watershed and call attention to projects underway to transform it into a model urban waterway and park.
Home to more than 800,000 residents, 43 species of fish and more than 200 species of birds, the restoration of the Anacostia River Watershed and the development of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail has twice been identified as a priority project for the Obama administration under the President’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP). Both initiatives seek to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors and revitalize urban waterways in underserved communities across the country.
“Connecting people and communities is what the Anacostia River Trail, like the Anacostia River itself, is all about,” said Senator Cardin. “I’m proud to support federal investments that bring together the people of Maryland and the District of Columbia with each other, local economic opportunities and America’s Great Outdoors. Federal dollars are tight right now, so it is important that we invest in the right places, like here on the Anacostia River, to help make our local communities more livable and more economically viable.”
Joining Senator Cardin at today’s event were Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III.
“The Anacostia has always been important to our region. It’s been a highway of commerce to the whole world, and it’s served as the connecting force linking nearby communities to one another,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “With our federal, state and local partners on board, we are working together to restore the Anacostia to its former glory, including moving forward on our 10-year restoration plan, and advancing our work to clean up the entire Chesapeake Bay. The new section we’re opening today is a great start, but together with our partners in the District and in federal government, we are committed to completing the entire trail. We look forward to breaking ground in 2012.”
“Prince George’s County is proud to host this major announcement for the National Capital Region,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. “The Anacostia watershed is critically important to the environment and economy of the County. The investment from federal, state, local, and the non-profit community to improve the Anacostia River will improve the quality of life for all Prince Georgians.”
At today’s event, officials participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the recent completion of 1.5 miles of trail in Maryland and exemplifying the strong ongoing local, state, and federal collaboration to provide additional opportunities for residents and visitors to access and enjoy Anacostia Park and the Anacostia River.
During the ribbon cutting, Governor O’Malley announced $1 million in additional state funding to develop a trail link that will connect Maryland and the District of Columbia’s Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Network. Once complete, the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Network will offer nearly 60 miles of contiguous trails – including 39 miles in Maryland and 20 miles in the District of Columbia.
For a map of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Network, please click HERE.
For a fact sheet on Anacostia’s Great Outdoors, please click HERE.
For a fact sheet on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership: New Life for the Anacostia River Watershed, please click HERE.