National Wildlife Week: Banks of “America’s Forgotten River” Become Home for Bald Eagles

Earth Conservation Corps, NWF’s District of Columbia affiliate, has been hard at work restoring the wetland and riparian habitat along America’s “forgotten river,” the Anacostia, at Diamond Teague Park.  Over the last few years, work has been conducted to control invasive species, install thousands of native wetland plants, and remove hundreds of bags of trash and debris. Last fall, NWF staff joined the ECC to help re-vegetate the banks of the Anacostia River with native plants. These efforts will be celebrated when the wetland is recognized as a NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat this spring.

Bald eagles
Bald eagles resting in a tree captured by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Myrna Erler-Bradshaw.
ECC also has a long history of working with birds of prey. The Corps provides environmental education for school students in the DC metro area using non-releasable birds of prey and works to restore birds of prey, such as bald eagles and osprey, to the Anacostia.

Related: Celebrating the Clean Water Act as We Restore the Anacostia River

In 1996, youth from the Earth Conservation Corps, under a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service, began releasing young bald eagles from Wisconsin at the National Arboretum in Washington in an attempt to restore the birds to the Anacostia region. At that time the Anacostia was one of the nation’s most polluted rivers, but in subsequent years, several pairs of eagles have built nests along the river, and the river is rebounding.

Washington, D.C. was recently named one of the Top 10 Cities for Wildlife as part of the National Wildlife Week 2015 Celebration. Did your city make the grade?