1. “The Anacostia River is a metaphor for the way poor people and minorities are treated” (Hoover). In 1994, the Anacostia River was fourth on the list of American Rivers' “Most Endangered Rivers” (Rynor). Since the late 19 th century the water quality in this river has slowly declined with the onset of urbanization and industrialization and the pollution that accompanies this growth. The Anacostia is severely polluted with “sediment, nutrients, pathogens, toxins, and trash” (“Cleaning”). And it is no coincidence that the river runs through some of Washington D.C.'s poorest communities in the south-eastern sections of the city.
2. Environmental injustice has been an ongoing battle that continues to plague many lower class, high minority communities. Environmental injustices occur when “low-income communities and communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of the nation's pollution problems” (Bullard 15). Three of every five African Americans live in communities with abandoned toxic waste sites (Bullard “Toxic”). In a 1991 report Greenpeace explained that, “being poor in America means breathing foul air, working filthy jobs, and living next to toxic waste landfills and incinerators” (Novotny 13).
3. In Washington, D.C. much of the pollution plaguing the Anacostia River is caused by trash, raw sewage and runoff from the city streets in the river's drainage area, or watershed. When the District's sewage system exceeds capacity due to heavy rains, the runoff is dumped into the Anacostia River (“Cleaning”). Between 75 and 90 percent of the pollution is caused by runoff from areas of Washington, D.C. with heavy pavement, roads, and parking lots, which produce runof...
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Loeb, Vernon. “Currents of Change.” The Washington Post 01 Dec 1996: B01. LexisNexis. Aladin. Gelman Library, Washington, D.C. 25 Feb 2003 < http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/document >.
Novotny, Patrick. Where We Live, Work and Play . Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 2000.
Raynor, Joyce. “Bill Norton Would Fund Grass-Roots River Cleanups.” The Washington Post 3 Mar. 1994: J3. Lexis-Nexis. Aladin. Gelman Library, Washington, D.C. 25 Feb. 2003.
Ruffins, Paul. “Talking Trash.” Washington City Paper 26 Jan. 2001. 25 Feb. 2003. <http:// www.washingtoncitypaper.com >.
Spencer, Duncan. “Caucus Rallies for Anacostia.” The Washington Post 8 Jan 2003: Pg.23. LexisNexis. Gelman Library, Washington, D.C. 30 March 2003 <http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/document>.
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