Environmental Groups Release Unique Stream Analysis to Spur Community Action

Holmes Run, Northwest Branch and Oxon Run in Moderately Poor to Fair Health Public urged to champion three key steps for improvement

For Immediate Release – August 10, 2022

For more information contact Lisa Goodnight [email protected] or 301-523-5394, or ANS Communications Director [email protected], or 904-710-8224

CHEVY CHASE – The Story of the Streams, a first-of-its-kind report released today by the Audubon Naturalist Society, Neighbors of the Northwest Branch, Friends of Holmes Run, and the Friends of Oxon Run, gives the three area streams surveyed Moderately Poor to Fair ratings. To see the report, click here. But the health of those streams, and all our region’s streams, can improve if the public takes action. The report highlights the personal connections between the streams and the communities that regularly interact with them, and it makes it easy for people to get involved in efforts to protect local waterways.

“The science is clear — the road to better health depends on three things: less pavement, more trees & wetlands, and cleaner air. What’s good for the streams is good for humanity and wildlife,” said ANS Director of Conservation Eliza Cava.

The report’s methodology is unique because the metrics don’t solely focus on what’s in the water. The Story of Streams report also highlights who (both human and wildlife) is accessing the streams. The four score categories are Water Quality, Climate, Access to Nature, and Biodiversity & Habitat.

“The story of the streams is really our story,” Cava added. “We are proud to have produced this comprehensive report allowing us to deepen our connection with our neighbors in this fight for our streams.”

Here’s what some of ANS’s partners have to say about Story of the Steams:

“The ambition and commitment to tracking and working to improve the conditions of the streams highlighted here, shown by all participants in this work, is impressive. Through this project, Audubon Naturalist Society and their collaborators are leading the way in doing the work that communities and the ecosystems we depend on need.” — Katie May Laumann, PhD, consulting scientist

“Neighbors of the Northwest Branch is immensely grateful for ANS’s leadership in making our watersheds more visible. We look forward to welcoming new neighbors to our collective stewardship of the Northwest Branch. The Story of Streams makes it clear: we all need healthy streams and healthy streams depend on us!” – Nora Swisher, President of the Board, Neighbors of the Northwest Branch

“Streams are ubiquitous – they’re everywhere – and yet somehow manage to be invisible to us. That little stream that runs under the road you’re driving on, or behind your property line, only to disappear into the next neighborhood, is actually going somewhere. Inland streams are literally the lifeblood for wildlife, from your nearest pocket park all the way to the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. Often, they’re also the de facto stormwater system. What this report does is remind us of steps we can take to help the environment and water quality in our own communities. Pay more attention to what goes into your local inland, urbanized, channelized or intermittent stream – and you will protect your local drinking water and all the waterways downstream, too.” Whitney Redding, president, Friends of Holmes Run


Follow ANS at: www.Facebook.com/AudubonNaturalistSociety,  www.Twitter.com/ANStweets and @ANSNature on Instagram.

About ANS: Throughout its history, ANS has championed nature for all by playing a pivotal role in conserving our region’s iconic natural places from development including the C&O Canal, Dyke Marsh and, most recently, Ten Mile Creek. Past ANS member and board president, Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is credited with launching the now global environmental movement. ANS’s nature experts provide hundreds of opportunities each year for children and adults to enjoy, learn about, and protect the environment.