On Neglecting The Anacostia River

Just as communities east of the Anacostia River are slowly experiencing change, so is the river itself. The Anacostia River has struggled with pollution — including high levels of fecal matter– for years. But activists have been working to raise the profile of the river and bolster efforts to clean it up.

The Washington Post chronicles the effort, and notes some of the reasons why the Anacostia River has gone neglected for so long. For one, the river doesn’t provide drinking water, “but the prevailing theory is that the communities surrounding the river — wards 6, 7 and 8 — have been forced to bear the brunt of the District’s waste.”

Those wards are predominately black and have high poverty rates.

“America has a shameful history of putting our pollution on poor minorities, and there’s no other way to say it,” said Mike Bolinder, head of the Anacostia Riverkeeper group. “You can slice and dice it any way you want, but the Potomac [River] got cleaned up first because it isn’t near poor minorities and toxic landfills.”

Read more at: www.washingtonpost.com