Anacostia River Watershed Messaging

Location: Washington, D.C. | Client: Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments | Project Date: November 2017 – June 2019

Project Images

Links and Resources

Anacostia Watershed Messaging Focus Group Summary Report

Project Description


The Anacostia River Regional Messaging Campaign DC/MD project aims to develop public communications about the Anacostia River that resonates with the broader community and enlist greater stewardship across communities not traditionally involved in environmental restoration. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), representing 24 local governments in Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia, sought to conduct research and develop recommendations to improve community outreach with disadvantaged communities in the Anacostia Watershed.


The COG enlisted Skeo to coordinate this regional collaboration and messaging with an emphasis on reaching under-represented communities and integrating community equity into the messaging approach. Skeo worked closely with the COG and the Anacostia Watershed Messaging Work Group—which includes representatives from Prince George’s and Montgomery County, MD and the District of Columbia—to conduct background research, design the approach, design and conduct focus groups with residents and summarize the findings and outcomes in a final report.


Project outcomes included tangible strategies and recommendations for a compelling, consistent regional messaging campaign and increased capacity among staff at 24 local jurisdictions to reach communities and sectors of the watershed who have not previously been engaged in environmental stewardship. In addition, Skeo supported increased coordination among Anacostia watershed jurisdictions around regional watershed messaging. This coordination fostered citizen awareness and increased stewardship via meetings with the jurisdictions and convening focus group discussions with residents that were representative of the rich ethnic and racial diversity of the watershed. The focus group summary report provided the COG and local governments with data and information to develop and improve messaging materials related to the Anacostia watershed and Year of the Anacostia efforts to reach broader audiences throughout the watershed.