Northwest DC

Where Have All The Streams Gone?

09/17/21  |  Rina Kunk

70% Of DC’s Streams Have Disappeared. Where Did They Go?

Learn About DC's Lost Rivers & Streams

Like me, have you ever wondered why your lawn often feels squishy like a swamp? Or noticed your sump-pump still working extra hard several days after a rainstorm. Sometimes, I wonder if a stream lurks just below the surface of my rear yard. That’s not as crazy an idea as it sounds. Tenleytown, American University Park, Wakefield, and North Cleveland Park, to name just a few neighborhoods use to be home to lots of small artesian springs and streams. This in-depth article from DCist (American University holds the license to WAMU, which owns DCist) explains what happened to the city's streams that once flowed throughout the region. From Tiber Creek to Rock Creek, learn more about our city's environmental evolution. And for the more inquisitive, there is an interactive map with an overlay of current day streets, that show us where these streams exist. And as luck may have it, one of these springs once flowed right through my back yard.




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