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The start of storytelling on the Anacostia River

To battle the negative stereotype of black urban youth, the original Earth Conservation Corps were determined to film their own stories and use every effort to bring media attention to the Anacostia River and their community. Through the creation of Youth Media Arts, the corps documented their positive environmental service in what became a case study of successful public engagement. The result shone a bright light on both the power of active conservation to fight environmental injustice in our nation’s capital. The tide began to shift after 30 million Americans learned of their battle through national broadcasts, including CBS’s ​60 Minutes​, Public Broadcasting’s Now with Bill Moyers​, ABC’s ​World News Tonight,​ and National Public Radio’s ​All Things Considered.



The Corps work with professionals on film, video, and music productions to create a range of broadcast materials, including educational videos. 


Our first documentary, ​Endangered Species​, won the Earth Watch Film and International Wildlife Film Festival Awards. Even as they teach their neighbors and peers about environment and community, Corpsmembers are acquiring the skills they need for the careers of their dreams.

Through Youth Media Arts, corps members and community members will also share their lives and their service of reclaiming the environment and their neighborhoods as we began almost thirty years ago with the Earth Conservation Corps documentary Endangered Species. A committed partner includes the National Geographic Society who provided $300,000 of grants for Earth Conservation Corps Youth Media. Previous productions also include Anacostia Explorers with 5th grade District students from Neval Thomas, John H. Ketchum, James G. Birney and River Terrace elementary schools. Endangered Species was also featured on PBS NOW with Bill Moyers in-depth interviews including original Earth Conservation Corps members and “60 Minutes” with Ed Bradley, in 2005.

Youth Media Arts members engage a nationwide and global audience through their valuable youth perspective in environmental service. 



Under our Anacostia Raptor Watch program, Earth Conservation Corpsmembers teamed up with leading ornithologist Dr. Bierregaard in the tagging and tracking of two male ospreys in 2013. Corpsmembers also installed osprey nest cameras along the Anacostia River for continuous monitoring and data collection. 

Corpsmembers conduct large field studies of ospreys, bald ealges, hawk migration, and urban raptors with the Anacostia Raptor Watch curriculum.

Take a look at our field guide!


Corpsmembers installed cameras along the Anacostia, located at the nesting sites where some of the bald eagle offspring that the founding Earth Conservation Corpsmembers reintroduced to the Washington, D.C. area after a 50 year absence, from 1995-1999 reside. garnered worldwide viewership, as well as allowed corpsmembers to monitor the eagles from the Monique Johnson Anacosita River Center. 

* soon to be rebooted.

Anacostia Raptor Watch Field Guide
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Osprey nest monitoring on Anacostia River


Liberty & Justice, two bald eagles from monitoring -- with two new eggs! 2017

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