The Watershed Stewards Academy is an 8-week hands-on certification course offered twice a year to District residents seeking to address local pollution problems in their local watersheds. The program is funded by a District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) grant to the Anacostia Watershed Society and is part of the National Capital Region Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA), which is a coalition of watershed protection groups in the Potomac, Rock Creek, Anacostia, and East Patuxent watersheds.
The coursework includes the following topics:
- Rainscaping techniques
- Pollution reduction strategies
- Community outreach and engagement
- Stormwater management
- Stream restoration
- Water quality
- Native plants
Courses are taught by subject matter experts from DOEE and Anacostia Watershed Society and typically take place weeknight evenings or on Saturday afternoons. Master Watershed Stewards have access to a consortium of professionals who provide technical assistance by consulting on design and development of watershed restoration projects. Additionally, Stewards will learn how to develop their own community-oriented project using how-to guides, technical and media resources, technical assistance, and mapping resources.
To become certified, Stewards must complete all coursework and complete a capstone project focused on a local watershed issue. Funding and resources are available to Stewards to help them develop and execute their projects.
Local experts serve as resources for stewards throughout the program and afterwards. After the certificate program, graduates are part of a network of Master Watershed Stewards. Alumni serve as resource people and community leaders in the effort to clean up local waterways, to coordinate efforts to infiltrate stormwater, and reduce pollution sources within sub-watershed.
The fee for the Watershed Stewards Academy is $75. Scholarships are available.
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