The Town of Chevy Chase Town Council approved four contribution requests at a public hearing Wednesday night including one from the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail for DNA testing to search for endangered amphipods.
The $25,388 amphipod testing request includes $20,388 for an American University scientist to survey sites near Coquelin Run and Rock Creek to determine if any DNA of threatened amphipod species exists. Another $5,000 would be for a study to determine how stormwater run-off and pollution from the light rail may effect amphipod habitats.
In August, the Friends group and two Chevy Chase residents filed a federal lawsuit alleging that construction of the Purple Line would affect the habitats of the Hay’s Spring amphipod, which is classified as endangered, and the Kenk’s amphipod, which is near-endangered. A search for the amphipods in the spring did not turn up any specimens.
Amphipods are tiny shrimp-like creatures. The DNA testing contribution was approved by a vote of 3-1 with Councilmember Al Lang voting against and Vice Mayor Pat Burda recusing herself.
Also approved by the Town Council Wednesday night was a $132,000 request from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, which will be used to help pay for a new ambulance. The Writer’s Center received $60,000 to help update its building to make it more handicap accessible. And the Chevy Chase Elementary School PTA received $9,000 to purchase new Macbooks for the school. All those contributions were approved unanimously.