Today we visited the Bladensburg Waterfront Park and took a pontoon boat ride along the Anacostia River. We saw many turtles and a blue heron. But what stuck out the most was the trash! The river’s edge was lined with piles of plastic bottles, plastic bags, and even a tricycle! The boat driver informed us that the Anacostia River was once the most polluted river in the country.
The driver asked us if we had any ideas about how the river came to be so polluted. Natalie explained, “People aren’t throwing their trash in the river. They throw it on the street and when it rains, it goes down the drain and into the river.” Other students made the connection to our work in Rock Creek. When we visited Rock Creek to launch our expedition (post to come), students saw plastic bags, bottles, and shoes that were stuck on rocks and the creek’s edge. They also noticed that the water smelled. Many wrote in their nature journals about a “stinky” smell.
Many students whispered that they were nervous as they boarded the boat as this was their first experience riding a boat. Others urged the driver to go faster. Like our hike at Rock Creek, this trip served both as an adventure and as fieldwork for our water expedition.
Huge thanks to our families and friends who helped make the trip possible: Elias’s mom, Cheyenne’s aunt, Kayla’s grandma, and Norwin’s mom. We are still looking for drivers for our fieldwork to Rock Creek on October 28 and 29. Thanks to Elias’s, Natalie’s, Natty’s families for the booster seat donations!