Our Programs

During the summer months, Anacostia Riverkeeper monitors water quality throughout all of DC waters and a large portion of the Anacostia watershed in order to asses the health of our waterways and provide up-to-date water quality information during the recreational season. With citizen science based volunteer programs we aim to build a team of volunteer water quality monitors in order to bring transparent and accessible water quality data to all communities and citizens in DC, MD, and the entire the Anacostia watershed.

What We Do

Anacostia Riverkeeper aims to protect the Anacostia for all who live and play in the watershed. Water quality is essential to ensuring residents have safe and healthy access to the river and its streams for recreation like fishing, boating, and paddling. Riverkeeper currently separates its water quality work into two distinct regions, one focused on the mainstem Anacostia in the District of Columbia and one focused on the middle and upper Anacostia watershed in Maryland.

How We Do It

Our water quality program primarily uses volunteers to collect samples throughout the DC and Maryland portions of the watershed. By using volunteers to help us collect data we are able to monitor large areas of the watershed with dedicated, local stewards who are committed to keeping their local waterways clean. Our programs are open to anyone 18+ years old (or children under the supervision of a parent/guardian) and take place at 19 sites across DC and MD from May to September each summer. Volunteer trainings take place annually each April before the start of the monitoring season.


Monitoring sites across DC and MD


Bacteria samples taken to date


Volunteers trained

Community science is the cornerstone of our water quality programs, allowing us assess and watch over the whole watershed with a team of dedicated volunteers.

Robbie O'Donnell, Watershed Program Manager

Where We Monitor

Anacostia Riverkeeper Monitoring Sites

Monitoring Parameters

Fecal Bacteria


Acidity (pH)


Air Temperature


Water Temperature


Dissolved Oxygen