The forecast for Thursday morning was gray, rainy and cold – but the Anacostia Waterfront Trust was joined by nearly 40 friends and supporters to celebrate the completion of its first RainPay green infrastructure project.

Representatives from the Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC), the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Anacostia Riverkeeper, Casey Trees, Greening Urban, Environmental Quality Resources, Green Scheme, neighborhood organizations and many more groups huddled together under tents graciously provided by Casey Trees.

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The ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of the Trust’s pilot RainPay project – an innovative approach to green infrastructure that provides financial income to a landowner while improving water quality in the Anacostia River watershed.

As WAMU 88.5 reported: “It didn’t cost us anything to do,” says Timothy Boddie, General Secretary of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. He’s excited to be helping the environment. “We have to do our small part to sustain God’s creation. To be good stewards.”

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This is all powered by DOEE’s new Stormwater Retention Credit Program, which establishes a commercial market for retaining and treating volumes of water that would otherwise runoff into the Anacostia. “It works almost like a stock-market for water, for rainwater,”said DOEE Director Tommy Wells.

If you represent a house of worship or non-profit near the Anacostia River and are interested in getting paid to treat stormwater on your own property, or if you are interested in purchasing credits generated from RainPay gardens, please contact Chris Karakul.