Uncovering the History of the District’s Buried Streams

Recording of CHRS Preservation Café Available

Joe Arrowsmith at a community meeting at a stream restoration project near Branch Avenue and Erie Street SE..

On Feb. 15, the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) hosted a virtual Preservation Cafe: Uncovering the History of the District’s Buried Streams, with presenters Joe Arrowsmith, Ecological Engineer, Straughan Environmental, Josh Burch, DC Department of Energy and Environment, and David Ramos, American University. Built at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, our capitol was once home to a vast network of streams, tributaries, and swimming holes.

In summer 2021, the DC Department of Energy and Environment released an interactive steam mapping project examining the disappearance of these historic streams, as city planners have drained, relocated, and forced these waterways into drainage and sewer pipes, to build the city we know today. The presenters  described the central role they have all played in this timely project and outlined the discussions and proposals city planners are entertaining to “daylight” or bring these streams back to the surface.

The event was recorded.