According to the Washington Post, the Anacostia is known by some Washingtonians as "the Potomac's ugly cousin, the barrier that sets off the city's poorer sections from Capitol Hill." In an effort to clean this area, Congress devoted $130 million for cleanup of the river. In 2010, the "Anacostia River Cleanup Initiative" began which is a program that adds a 5-cent tax on plastic bags. Donahue states that the program "has been a major success, dramatically cutting plastic bag litter, and raising $2.5 million for building trash-blocking grates and supporting local cleanup efforts."
The Capitol Riverfront is another program established by the city, located at the base of the Anacostia. Alongside is a 16-mile system of trails which will be dubbed the Anacostia Riverwalk. The Riverwalk will incorporate "underused parks along the river," and will link both sides of the river and be connected by a system of bridges that will allow users to create loops of various lengths, says Donahue.