Neabsco Creek is a tributary of the lower tidal segment of the Potomac River located in eastern Prince William County, Virginia. The Neabsco Creek watershed covers about 27 square miles (70 km2). The creek has served as a vital waterway for trade and commerce in Northern Virginia since the eighteenth century.
The Neabsco's watershed is highly developed because of its proximity to the I-95 corridor and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The EPA Office of Water recently identified the Neabsco Creek watershed as an "area of significant habitat degradation due to a loss of natural land cover and storm water management facilities designed without consideration for environmental conditions." Most of Dale City and Woodbridge empty into Neabsco Creek.
Prince William County has made significant investments to offset stormwater impacts throughout the watershed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to dredge Neabsco Creek to help alleviate flooding on Route 1 was never funded and the area continues to flood on a routine basis. Congressman Tom Davis has secured more than $4 million in funds to clean up the Dale Service Corporation's sewage treatment plant on Neabsco Creek.
Local organizations often use Neabsco Creek to highlight the values of efforts to prevent damages to waterways. What has happened to the Neabsco is unfortunate, particularly because it was preventable. Now that the damage to this watershed has been done, repairs require significant investments of tax dollars and will never restore the Neabsco to its natural state.
Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge, 325 acres (1.32 km2) of tidal marsh and riparian wetlands and woodlands, is located about 22 miles (35 km) south of Washington, D.C. at the confluence of Neabsco Creek and the Potomac River and provides a habitat for neotropical migrants, waterfowl, ospreys, and historically bald eagles.
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