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Watershed Protection Division

Photo of chemicals floating atop water

DOEE's Watershed Protection Division (WPD) works to protect and restore the environmental health of the District’s waterways. The WPD has three Branches that work together to protect our watersheds from soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution.

  • The Inspection and Enforcement Branch
  • The Planning and Restoration Branch
  • The Technical Services Branch

The Division has developed and enacted stormwater management and sediment and erosion control regulations for construction sites. In addition, it has developed an extensive Environmental Education Program, using nationally accredited curricula, to educate District teachers, students, and residents in the benefits of environmental stewardship. The WPD also assesses the health of watersheds and habitats and sponsors activities that re-create wetlands or restore stream buffers with trees.

The following Branch Offices work together to protect our watersheds from soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution.

Technical Services

Inspection and Enforcement

  • Construction Site Inspection - Inspects construction sites for soil erosion and drainage problems, responds to resident complaints and recommends appropriate solutions.
  • Maintenance Inspection - Inspect regulated stormwater management facilities for proper function and preventative maintenance.

Planning and Restoration

Encourages pollution prevention by carrying out information and education campaigns and increasing involvement in cleanup efforts in the Anacostia River, neighborhood watersheds, and the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Sponsors activities that protect and restore river, stream, and wetland habitats in DC, increase the DC and Chesapeake Bay watershed's ecological diversity, and protect the health, welfare, and safety of our residents.
  • Funds, manages and implements stream and wetland restoration projects.
  • Funds, manages and implements several incentive programs including:
    - RiverSmart Homes:
      The RiverSmart Homes program offers incentives to homeowners interested in reducing stormwater pollution from their properties.
    - RiverSmart Rooftops:
      The RiverSmart Rooftops program provides a cost share rebate to property owners installing green roofs on their buildings.
    - RiverSmart Schools:
      The RiverSmart Schools program offers schools both teacher training and assistance with installing outdoor classrooms that help reduce stormwater runoff.
    - RiverSmart Communities:
      The RiverSmart Communities program is an extension of the RiverSmart Homes program to multi-family residences such as condominiums, co-ops apartments, and houses of worship.
    - RiverSmart Rebates
      In addition to RiverSmart Homes, there are a series of rebates for trees, rain barrels, rain gardens, and impervious surface removal. 
      Any D.C. single family homeowner is eligible to apply for the rebates, and homeowners that have already participated in the RiverSmart Homes program can also take advantage of the rebates.

The Watershed Protection Division works with several regional organizations such as the USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB), the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) to address shared environmental concerns.

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