As the weather warms up many of us will wind up near the Anacostia River or one of its tributaries. You may notice that there is often lots of trash in it. There is no way we can have a swimmable, fishable, drinkable river if we can’t stop it from being trashed. That is why in 2010 under the Clean Water Act, EPA, Maryland and Washington, DC established a limit on trash in the Anacostia. The limit, called a TMDL, was set to bring trash levels to zero. That’s no trash what so ever.
Our local governments have been doing a lot to solve this problem. Prince George’s County and Washington, DC have both banned styrofoam, and DC has also taxed plastic bags, but that only gets you so far. Trash still finds it way into the river.
Of course most Mounties aren’t litterbugs, but that doesn’t mean all trash gets thrown out properly and some of that litter gets washed into the rivers during big rain storms.
That is where the Bandalong Litter TrapTM comes in. The Bandalong is a type of floating trash trap that gets installed on a stream and catches the trash. Since the Bandalong floats and trash floats it can collect the trash while fish can still get under it.
Prince George’s County Department of the Environment in partnership with Anacostia Riverkeeper through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust will be installing the first trap in Prince George’s County under the bridge under 31st Street by Richardson Park. The bandalong will likely be installed this spring and there will be an event to kick off the clean up so stay tuned. The trap will be inspected and cleaned out regularly but the Green Team is also interested in finding residents to help clean it up once or twice a year, email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in helping.