Fishing on the AnacostiaPosted by nick
Throughout history, the Anacostia River has been called “DC’s forgotten river”. For decades, city government ignored the 7-mile river that stretches through DC’s eastern corridor. Until baseball returned to the District and the National’s stadium was built along it shoreline.
No surprise what happened next; developers bought up parcels of land at breakneck speed. And their call to prospective tenants: get in on riverfront real estate before it’s too late. It’s working. The Capital Riverfront is abuzz with new leases. Business is set to take off.
Despite developers best intentions, this rising tide hasn’t yet lifted all boats. Some of DC’s poorest neighborhoods flank the river – food deserts without access to healthy food. Corner stores remain the go-to dinner option for most residents.
But some residents have found at least part of a solution in the river itself. They fish for food. Not since the Anacostan Indians canoed these waters in the 17th century has there been such an upsurge in subsistence fishing. While the Anacostia Rivershed Society attributes it to the recession, and public health officials warn of the dangers of eating fish from the river, many Anacostia residents see brown spotted catfish simply as an inexpensive source of protein for dinner.
The unfolding story is a microcosm for what’s happening across the city. The looming question remains: can smart development serve residents old and new without leaving a “forgotten” few off of the lifeboat?
Photographs by Joshua Cogan. Washington, DC photographers Joshua Cogan and Dallas Lillich of Sweatlodge Productions are working on an ongoing project to document perspectives along the Anacostia River.
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