DC Environmental Network


Founded: Founded in 1996 by DC focused environmental organizations and foundations.

Executive Director: Chris Weiss


Areas of expertise: Climate, Clean Rivers, Zero Waste, Budget Advocacy, Coalition Advocacy Coordination, Environmental Education, and Environmental Policy Development (partial). 

DCEN organizes stakeholder meetings with DC government agencies.

DCEN Profile

What We’re Doing

The DC Environmental Network (DCEN), founded in 1996 — is working toward a vision of rebuilding Washington, DC’s neighborhoods, and communities for long-term economic and environmental sustainability — accomplishing this by protecting, restoring, and enhancing, the Capital City’s urban environment.

DCEN has played a major role in creating the infrastructure, policy elements, and political will necessary to make DC a national sustainability leader. Much of our success has come from our commitment to working in a coalition environment as much as possible.

DCEN coordinates educational briefings and trainings to help give District environmental advocates the information and tools necessary to engage local government and neighborhoods. We put sustainability leaders in the room with decision makers from DC communities, national environmental organizations, DC Executive Branch agencies, DC Legislative Branch offices, and other important stakeholders necessary to achieving our shared goals.

DCEN regularly leads advocacy campaigns, large and small, to respond to the existential threat of the climate crisis, to create a more circular, zero-waste economy, to protect and restore the Anacostia River, Potomac River, and Rock Creek, to assist in efforts to restore and protect our tree canopy and necessary urban wildlife, and to protect DC families from legacy pollutants. DCEN leads efforts each year to make sure our local governments operating budgets support green programs and policies. Over the years, we have helped secure and protect millions of dollars necessary to keep moving our sustainability goals forward.

DCEN led educational and advocacy campaigns to create the District Department of the Environment, DPW Office of Waste Diversion, and helped secure funding for environmental lawyers in the DC Office of the Attorney General. Important structures to help us succeed.

Over the years, DCEN helped educate and advocate to create the momentum necessary to pass landmark legislation to protect trees, clean up area rivers, establish a renewable portfolio standard to promote renewable energy, and most recently, created the space for the creation of the strongest, urban focused, climate crisis bill in the country.

Even more recently DCEN helped pass legislation and secure funding to, over the next decade, safely remove poisonous lead pipes from thousands of DC homes that threaten the developmental health of District children. A major step for the District.   

DCEN recently celebrated the opening of the Anacostia River tunnels to reduce stormwater and raw sewage discharges. This project has been a major focus of our efforts. DCEN serves on Mayor Bowser’s Leadership Council for a Cleaner Anacostia. We are pushing District government to reduce legacy toxics in area rivers. We are proud of our part in making the Anacostia River, Potomac River, and Rock Creek, safer for District residents and wildlife.