Mayor Gray releases sustainability plan for the District

(AP, NC8) D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray released on Tuesday a draft of a 20-year plan to make the nation's capital "the greenest, healthiest and most livable city in the nation."

The mayor also cut the ribbon on a new bridge that's part of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. The bridge provides a link between Benning Road in Southeast Washington and the Tidal Basin.

The sustainability initiative is expected to address buildings, climate, energy, food, parks and natural habitat, transportation, waste, water and jobs in the environmental field.

D.C. resident Sheila Carson Carr said she would have cherished the chance to ride her bike in her D.C. neighborhood when she was young.

"As a child, I grew up in this area. We didn't have bicycle trials to ride on, or do things like that beside the river. We used to have to go all the way across the bridge," Carr said.

The realities of Carr's childhood could change if Mayor Gray's plan for sustainability succeeds.

In Gray's vision of the city, citizens walk to work, fish in the river, and have access to readily available fresh food.

His goals will be enforced by strict policies, like ensuring all new buildings are carbon neutral and restricting fertilizer pollution, to be put in place over 20 years.

"These aren't just realistic goals; they're real opportunities for us," Gray said.

Five million dollars from the city's budget will be used to fund pilot programs over the next year. The Mayor's office plans to release the final draft of a sustainable D.C. by this fall.