The Trust had the opportunity to join Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Anacostia Riverkeeper, the City of Mount Rainier, and other community members in celebrating the installation of the first major litter trap in Maryland in Arundel Canal, a tributary of the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River in Mount Rainier.
The innovative litter trap, a type widely used throughout Australia and Asia, is designed to capture litter and debris that has been discarded onto roadways and transported by rain and wind into storm drains.
Litter left on roadways, in parks, and in other parts of Prince George’s County communities is unsightly and can cause human health issues. During big rain events, the litter makes its way to Prince George’s County waterways over land and through the sewer system. When the litter enters our waterways, the water can become polluted, harming the creatures who live in an around the waterways, contaminating the fish we consume, and creating potential hazards for swimmers and other recreational users.
In an effort to safeguard community members and help remove some of the in-stream litter, the Anacostia Riverkeeper and the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment teamed up to install the County and Maryland’s first in-stream litter trap in the City of Mount Rainier, located at the corner of Arundel Road and 30th Street in the Arundel Canal.
The litter trap system chosen for the site is known as the Bandalong Litter Trap. The trap’s unique design requires no mechanical assistance, relying only on the water’s natural current, offering an economical way to capture floating litter before it reaches the Anacostia River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean where it becomes marine debris.
The Anacostia Riverkeeper will subcontract the litter trap collection to Joe’s Movement Emporium who will remove the litter from the trap, which can then be sorted and weighed by litter type so that the litter reduction statistics can be recorded and shared with the community members and County partners. The trap is safe for fish, waterfowl, and other aquatic life. In addition to the litter removal, the litter trap site in Mount Rainier will serve as an important education site, informing community members and visitors about the importance of properly disposing litter.
The installation of the litter trap was funded by the Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program, a partnership between the Trust and the County, which aims to improve water quality in the County’s waterways, improve communities, and engage County residents in the issues associated with stormwater runoff pollution. The Anacostia Riverkeeper has received another grant award to install a second litter trap of this type in another tributary of the Anacostia River in Prince George’s County later this year.
The Prince George’s County Stormwater Stewardship Grant Program is currently open and accepting applications. To learn more and to apply, click here.
Contact the Anacostia Riverkeeper to learn more about this project or to learn about volunteer opportunities.