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About DCEN

About the DC Environmental Network
The DC Environmental Network, founded in 1996 — is working toward a vision of rebuilding Washington, DC’s neighborhoods and communities for long-term economic stability — accomplishing this by protecting and restoring the Capital City’s urban environment. We also engage at the regional level when necessary.

The undertaking is a challenge: Major environmental problems in the region include global warming, contaminated drinking water, air pollution, congested traffic, neighborhood trash, degradation of the Anacostia River and lead contamination. Rising to the challenge is a thriving coalition made up of over 150 local and national organizations including Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Clean Water Action, Washington Parks & People, the Anacostia Watershed Society and many more.

Meeting every month to focus on problems specific to the DC region, Network members exchange current information and develop campaign strategies. The Network then helps coordinate a coalition response.

A Week in the Life of the DC Environmental Network
(January 12th – 16th, 2009)
MONDAY the 12th
  • Farm to Schools – The DC Environmental Network led a planning session with health activists to discuss the feasibility of starting a Farm to Schools program in the District. Farm to School programs bring healthy, fresh, and locally grown food to school breakfast and lunch programs. Healthy foods can help put a dent in record obesity in the District and can also be a strategy for combating global warming by limiting use of energy to transport food over long distances.
TUESDAY the 13th
  • Protecting Environmental Initiatives – The Coalition for Community Investment, co-led by the DC Environmental Network and others, met with the DC Budget Director to push the legislative branch to protect important initiatives including environmental FTEs within the newly created District Department of the Environment.
  • Local Response to Global Warming – Our Capital Climate Coalition circulated a new action alert for comment urging District residents and DC based organizations to oppose the nomination of an unqualified individual to the DC Public Service Commission, an entity important to our fight against global warming.
WEDNESDAY the 14th
  • Plastic/Paper Bag Fee in the District – Representatives from the DC Environmental Network met with DC Councilmember Wells and others to discuss developing a new campaign to implement a plastic/paper bag fee to discourage use and generate revenue for Anacostia River restoration.
THURSDAY the 15th
  • DCEN Monthly Luncheons – The DC Environmental Network held a luncheon at Friends of the Earth featuring a panel with DC Councilmember Mary Cheh, District Department of the Environment Director George Hawkins and DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s Executive Director Ed Lazere. The topic was the $800+ million dollar budget shortfalls the District may experience through 2010 and how it might impact important environmental initiatives.
  • Litigation to Defend Clean Water Act – Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit challenging EPA’s approval of limits on discharges of sediment and suspended solids into the Anacostia River.
FRIDAY the 16th
  • No DC Coal Power Plant – Brent Blackwelder, representing Friends of the Earth and the DC Environmental Network, met with the Architect of the Capitol and Congress’s Chief Administrative Officer to discuss options for shutting down the coal operations at the Congressional Power Plant, just blocks from the Capitol.