The Anacostia River touches countless communities, winding from Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Washington, DC before flowing into the Potomac. But this vital natural resource has really suffered from sewage and stormwater, and is not swimmable or fishable – yet. Dedicated to the restoration of the watershed, Anacostia Watershed Society mobilizes the community to return the river to life and health. Through hands-on service learning, it engages thousands of local students each year in planting wetland vegetation and cleaning up the shores; and it advocates on the river’s behalf, seeking better stormwater controls and increased containment of trash. AWS also provides opportunities for adults to become Watershed Stewards – reducing stormwater, installing rain barrels and green roofs, and becoming advocates in their communities. Thousands work with AWS to restore and clean the watershed through year-round volunteer events. River tours, paddle clinics, bike rides, and environmentally-friendly activities along the water remind all local residents of the pleasure that (clean) rivers can bring. Your stewardship, and support, is the next essential resource.

Headquarters: MD-Prince George's County

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County

Age Groups Served: Infants; Pre-K; Youth; Adolescence; Teenagers; Young Adult; Adult; Elderly; Grades K-5; Grades K-12; Grades 6-12; Grade 9-12; All

Ethnic Groups Served: Multicultural, 100%

Population(s) Served: All

Schools They Work In: All schools in DC, Prince George's County, and Montgomery County

Combined Federal Campaign Number: 88425

Awards & Recognition

1992 — United Nations Achievement Award
1992 — Sierra Club Outstanding Achievement Award (Sierra Club)
1994 — Excellence in Environmental Education (National Environmental Education Foundation)
1999 — President's Volunteer Action Award (Office of the President of the United States of America)
2000 — Friend of the Potomac Award (Friends of the Potomac)
2006 — Argosy Foundation and etown E-chievement Award
2009 — U.S. Senate Certificate of Special Recognition


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Budget (FY2011)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Anacostia Watershed Society is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $29 million for charities across Greater Washington.

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