The Anacostia at Bladensburg, Md., appears a beautiful river where children take boat rides and people fish. On closer inspection, the river is full of trash and other unhealthy material.
A group of environmentalists waded the Anacostia in protective suits Thursday to spotlight that nearly 30 years after the river was supposed to be cleaned up, it remains dirty.
That was part of the message from an array of environmentalists and political leaders who came to the banks. They said to the Clean Water Act of 1972 that promised a clean river by 1983 has failed.
"It's a tragedy that we have to risk life and limb to come to the united states especially this rive that runs through the nation's capital," said Gerald Winegard, a Democratic Maryland state senator.
The Anacostia and it's tributaries flow through Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland as well as D.C.
Tjhe advocates called on Prince George's to join D.C. and Montgomery county in passing bag taxes, which they say has cut trash pollution. They called for an end to untreated storm drain runoff.
Fisherman Eric Solomon says he doesn't eat the fish he catches in the river. "It makes me kinda think the fish are dining on it," Solomon said.
Yet he says the river is in better shape than it used to be. The advocates say it still has a long way to go.