U.S. Navy JAGC Commander Laura Bishop removing trash from the Anacostia River © Matt Kane/TNC
In July 2019, an opportunity arose for The Nature Conservancy to collaborate with retiring U.S. Navy JAGC Commander Laura Bishop on a cleanup of Kingman Island and Heritage Island, two areas located directly on the Anacostia River.
Commander Bishop specialized in environmental law over her 20 year tenure with the Navy, and in lieu of a traditional retirement ceremony, Laura decided to organize a cleanup effort inspired by her passion for nature.
The Nature Conservancy was thrilled to be a partner, considering that TNC has worked diligently to reduce the amount of stormwater pollution flowing into the Anacostia River. Through innovative and strategic partnerships, TNC has designed and implemented green infrastructures meant to capture polluted runoff throughout the District.
The Anacostia River is a little over 8 miles long and flows into both Maryland and Washington, D.C., providing recreational opportunities to the community and valuable habitat to creatures of the natural world. Unfortunately, the watershed has suffered a long history of pollution from various industries.
On Thursday July 25, 2019, thanks to Commander Bishop’s leadership, a group of volunteers with diverse military backgrounds banded together to remove trash from the Anacostia, specifically on the banks of Kingman Island and Heritage Island, both owned by the nonprofit Living Classrooms.
Over the course of the morning, these military volunteers rolled up their sleeves and collected approximately 50 bags of trash, making the Anacostia River just a little cleaner.
TNC’s veteran employee resource group, Veterans in Nature’s Service (VINS), supports veteran employees and employees with veteran family members while also promoting job opportunities for veterans.
TNC has a long history of working with veterans all over the country on everything from volunteer events like this one to veteran family retreats.
The mission of The Nature Conservancy (CFC# 10643) is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. . Learn more at Nature.org
Story by Bridget Moynihan
Photo by Matthew Kane