"70% Of D.C.’s Streams Have Disappeared. Where Did They Go?"

"On a hot, muggy day in D.C., nothing could be better than a good swimming hole — a deep spot in a cool, clear-running creek.

That’s what I set out to find recently, near one of the busiest intersections in Washington: North Capitol St. and New York Ave. These days, it’s a dry landscape of concrete and asphalt. But 150 years ago, it was a popular spot for kids to cool off. In fact, the area around what’s now Union Station was once dotted with swimming holes that carried evocative names like “the Piggory” and “the Blue Cork.”

Washington D.C is a river city, built at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia. Once upon a time, it was also a stream city, laced with a vast network of tributaries. Roughly 70% of those historic streams disappeared as the city developed, according to a new District-funded project to document and map the D.C.’s forgotten waterways. The project also analyzed possible locations to bring some streams back aboveground in the future."

Jacob Fenston reports for WAMU/DCist August 16, 2021.

Source: WAMU, 08/16/2021