(WASHINGTON, DC) -- Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined other regional and national leaders in working cooperatively for the health of the Chesapeake Bay during the Chesapeake Executive Council meeting July 11 in Richmond, Va.
The leaders discussed progress made in restoring the Chesapeake and its watershed, including the Anacostia River, the District Department of Environment (DDOE) reported today.
“The Anacostia River is a D.C. treasure,” said Mayor Gray. “We must do everything in our power to protect and preserve this important river and the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.”
The meeting, themed, “Get Grounded in Our Watershed,” stressed the importance of connecting people with their local waterways and encouraged citizens in the Bay area to be part of restoring and revitalizing their local waterways.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson, chair of the Chesapeake Executive Council, noted the District’s leadership in being ahead of schedule in complying with the council’s restoration goals for the Bay.
Mayor Gray expressed his commitment to local restoration of the District’s waterways, in particular the Anacostia River that flows into the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake. Mayor Gray emphasized that restoration of the Bay starts with restoration of our local waterways, and leading by example.
The Mayor also noted his participation in DDOE’s RiverSmart Homes program, which provides financial and technical resources to DC homeowners to install rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavers and other green practices that help prevent harmful runoff into the Chesapeake Watershed. He advocated for continued support in helping to upgrade the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, the largest single source of nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The Chesapeake Executive Council, established by the Chesapeake Bay Agreement of 1983, meets annually to help establish the policy direction for the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its living resources. Members in attendance at this year’s executive meeting included EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett; Mayor Gray; Chesapeake Bay Commission Chair Sen. Michael Brubaker; U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan; and representatives from Delaware, New York and West Virginia.