Montgomery County’s First ‘Litter Trap’ Installed in Anacostia River Tributary

by Patrick Herron

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 7, 2022

The Anacostia Riverkeeper, the Montgomery County Department of the Environment, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust today announced the installation of the County’s first “litter trap” that will catch trash flowing down a stream or river. The trap will float in the Lockridge Drive Tributary and capture litter. Using the stream current, it will guide debris into the trap and prevent it from flowing downstream to the Anacostia River and into the Chesapeake Bay.

“Plastic bottles make up 60 percent of all the trash that is found floating on the Anacostia River, and while the best way to reduce trash in our waterways is not to litter at all, this litter trap is another way to make sure that we are not leaving environmentally harmful trash behind,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “I want to thank the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Anacostia Riverkeeper, our partners in finding innovative ways to clean up our streams and creeks. We are proud to support funding for projects such as the litter trap and to work with these local groups committed to cleaning their communities. These programs provide jobs, create awareness, and build community support for protecting our environment.”

Anacostia Riverkeeper is working with the Montgomery County Conservation Corps for maintenance, monitoring and data collection as the litter is collected and sorted.

“Anacostia Riverkeeper is thrilled to celebrate the installation of this first Bandalong Litter Trap in Montgomery County, making a total of eight in the watershed,” said Trey Sherard of Anacostia Riverkeeper. “Trash, especially plastic, is such an enormous problem in the Anacostia and worldwide that we hope this is the first of many trash traps coming to the County as we continue to partner with the Department of Environmental Protection, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Montgomery County Conservation Corps. What a wonderfully appropriate way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.”

This trash trap project was funded via the Montgomery County Watershed Restoration and Outreach Grant Program. It is a partnership between the County and the Chesapeake Bay Trust that funds public outreach and stewardship projects, community-based restoration water quality implementation projects and litter-reduction projects throughout the County. The grants are funded entirely through the Montgomery County Water Quality Protection Charge and are administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, a regional grant-maker specializing in engaging nonprofit entities in restoration and outreach work.

“Our successful partnership with Montgomery County makes it possible to support diverse groups taking actions that both enrich their local communities and positively impact our natural resources,” said Jana Davis, president of the Chesapeake Bay Trust. “Innovative grantee projects, such as the litter trap, help improve healthy streams and rivers for all to enjoy.”

Since January, over $560,000 in grant funding was awarded to 15 projects throughout Montgomery County and since the program’s inception in 2014, over $3.4 million has been awarded through the grant program.

Projects have included public outreach; stewardship and community-based restoration efforts such as planting native plants and trees, promoting, and implementing green infrastructure practices, community training programs, and removing impervious surfaces; and trash reduction in the Anacostia River Watershed through litter trap maintenance and monitoring.

About Anacostia Riverkeeper

Anacostia Riverkeeper (www.anacostiariverkeeper.org) works to protect and restore the Anacostia River for all who live, work, and play in the watershed. We rely on law and advocacy to improve water policy. We deploy green infrastructure to improve water quality. We create meaningful encounters with the river for all citizens in order to open opportunities for enjoyment of the Anacostia River.

About Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection

The mission of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dep) is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County’s air, water, and land in a sustainable way while fostering smart growth, a thriving economy, and healthy communities.

About the Chesapeake Bay Trust

The Chesapeake Bay Trust (www.cbtrust.org) is a nonprofit grant-making organization established by the Maryland General Assembly dedicated to improving the natural resources of Maryland and the Chesapeake region through environmental education, community engagement, and local watershed restoration. The Trust’s grantees engage hundreds of thousands of individuals annually in projects that have a measurable impact on the waterways and other natural resources of the region. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Chesapeake Bay license plate; donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form; donations made by hunters, fishers, and boaters in the Maryland online natural resource licensing system; donations from individuals and corporations; and partnerships with private foundations and federal, state, and local governments such as Montgomery County. The Trust has received the highest rating from Charity Navigator for over two decades.  On average, 90% of the Trust’s expenditures are directed to its restoration and education programs.

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