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Photo Exhibit Highlights Anacostia River Transformation

The Capitol Riverfront BID celebrates the many years and transitions of the Anacostia River Watershed with a photography exhibit shot by DC-based award-winning photographer and author Krista Schlyer. Schyler has documented the Anacostia River and its natural habitats since 2010.
The exhibit opened Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Yards Park boardwalk (355 Water St. SE). It is composed of 18 4- by 6-foot displays featuring snapshots that highlight the river’s wildlife through all four seasons.
By depicting both wildlife and human infrastructure, the photos give visitors a glimpse into the river’s seasons of transformation and natural history, centuries of degradation, and most recently, decades of the combined restoration efforts of local citizens, advocacy organizations and government agencies.
“I’m thrilled that these photographs will stand alongside the Anacostia at this precise moment in time,” said photographer Krista Schlyer. “Over the past difficult months one silver lining has been that so many people have had an opportunity – like never before – to see and feel the magic of the Anacostia,” she sid.
“I hope that this renewed connection helps strengthen our resolve to heal this wounded landscape,” she added. “The more we make choices to protect and restore the living world of forest, wetland and meadow, the healthier the river will be—and the healthier we will be.”
The efforts of many stakeholders have led to the ongoing clean-up of the Anacostia River. Krysta Schlyer’s 2018 book, River of Redemption chronicles the journey of the river and its healing through seven years of meticulous research and photographs.
The Captiol Riverfront BID said that goal is for the Anacostia to be a swimmable river in 3 to 5 years, a remarkable possibility given the river’s history of pollution and dilapidation.
Over the past four centuries the Anacostia has been given many names: the eastern branch of the Potomac, the other national river, the dirtiest river in the nation, the forgotten river, etc.
“This multimedia journey from the headwaters of the Anacostia to its confluence with the Potomac, and everything in between along our beautiful riverfront, is a compelling narrative of what it once was, and what it is growing to be,” said Capitol Riverfront BID President Michael Stevens. “It is a true recognition of those who are working to heal our river and its wetlands, and an entreaty to join them in these conservation efforts.”
Stevens said that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anacostia River has served as a constant that proves the value of accessible open space to those living, working and visiting the area. “Water truly is magic,” he said.
Guests are welcome to visit the outdoor exhibit at the Yards Park boardwalk, following social distancing guidelines. For those who would rather experience the river’s transformation from the comfort of their own homes, check out the “River of Resilience” interactive story map.
The story map is a collaboration between Schlyer, the International League of Conservation Photographers, and the Esri Story Maps team, with generous support from the District Department of Energy and Environment, and in partnership with the Anacostia Waterfront Trust.
Visit the River of Resiliance Interactive Story Map here: storymaps.esri.com/stories/2018/anacostia/index.html

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