New trash skimmers are picking up tons (literally) of litter in local rivers

DC Water launches two new trash skimmers on the Anacostia River

Photo by DC WATER. 

Photo by DC WATER. 


While out paddling this summer you might have noticed some odd looking boats. But they are nothing to fear. Flotsam and Jetsam are here with a clean water mission.

DC Water, Washington’s water and sewer utility company, introduced the two new trash skimmers to remove floating trash and debris from the Anacostia River, one of the Potomac's major tributaries. The new boats, which were named through a social media contest, each cost $484,000 and are 50 feet long.

Though the rivers are the cleanest they have been in decades thanks to nonprofit, community, and political support, trash and debris still washes into the rivers through the sewer system after heavy rains.

Trash can be especially dangerous for local animals, and some of the most common types of trash takes decades to break down. All the more reason we're excited to have Flotsam and Jetsam on our side in the fight for clean water.

“The Anacostia and Potomac Rivers are an important part of our culture in the District of Columbia,” Tommy Wells with the DC Department of Energy and Environment said. “These new skimmer boats, designed to collect trash and litter, will play a crucial role in our ongoing efforts to ensure our rivers are fishable and swimmable for generations to come.”

These aren't the first trash skimmers to roam Washington’s rivers. DC Water first launched trash skimmer boats in 1992. The new boats have upgraded features, and will remove between 300 and 500 tons of trash annually.

While Flotsam and Jetsam do their part from the river, you can do your part from shore. 

Join Team Potomac for a river cleanup on World Rivers Day, September 23rd, at Jones Point Park. We'll be working to keep trash from polluting the river and harming local wildlife.

All you need are close-toed shoes and a smile. We'll take care of the rest.

For more information and to sign up, visit the event page >


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