Cat Point Creek
Many areas of the Northern Neck are important regions for conserving land to protect our natural habitats, preserve open lands, and conserve our forests and waterways. In one of those areas, The Northern Neck Land Conservancy has a special project focus with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, where we can assist interested landowners with voluntary conservation easements. The region extends from the Rappahannock River by Menokin up to the Potomac River by George Washington's Birthplace and includes the watershed of Cat Point Creek.
Cat Point Creek is a 19.32 mile long waterway that makes its way to the Rappahannock River winding through Westmoreland and Richmond Counties from 170 feet of elevation down to 6 feet above sea level. It consists of 46,800 acres of hilly terrain that includes many farms, streams, millponds and wetland estuaries. There are large expanses of unspoiled wetland habitat ideal for many varieties of salt and freshwater plants. Fish such as large mouth bass, perch, herring, rockfish and catfish swim throughout the creek and streams. Birds and waterfowl are abundant. The creek and surrounding woodlands are the home of bald eagles, osprey, blue heron, and wood ducks. Otters and beavers swim, hunt, raise their young and rely upon Cat Point Creek's habitat for their survival.
To preserve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and wildlife habitat in the watershed of Cat Point Creek and adjacent areas, NNLC will work to facilitate the placement of conservation easements to help reach the Governor's goal of 400,000 acres conserved statewide by 2014. Outcomes include protecting hundreds of additional acres of open space, farm land, timberland and watershed property; preventing new pollutant sources in tributaries; protecting the habitat of endangered and indigenous species; creating an open space area between major habitats on the Potomac River and existing protected areas on the Rappahannock River; protecting breeding grounds and nesting areas; preserving view sheds from historic sites; and increasing public awareness of conservation issues. Cat Point Creek is ranked as a high priority watershed for non-point source pollution attributed to rural land use with impervious surfaces that occur on highly leachable and erodible soils.
Landowners will be contacted, educational forums will be held, a social marketing campaign will be initiated, local students will be engaged, electronic communications utilized; and legislators and county governments involved. Partnerships formed include the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Gateway sites, parks, Northern Neck Planning District Commission, conservation organizations and support services, VA State organizations and local agricultural bureaus.
The NNLC has entered into a working relationship with the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School and has provided funding to the school through a grant for water quality testing of Cat Point Creek. Data is being used to demonstrate to landowners and public officials the vulnerability of the watershed to pollutants. Currently, the water quality of this pristine area is not showing any significant decline, and the limitation of buildings and non point source pollution will maintain these positive results in the future. For further information or to read current test information, go to the Chesapeake Bay Governor's website at http://www.cbgs.k12.va.us/cbgs-water-quality.html and click on Cat Point Creek on the map.
If you own land in the area and would like to learn more about the benefits of preserving your land, contact the Northern Neck Land Conservancy, and we will provide you with information to assist you with your personal decision.
Read more about Cat Point Creek, a Treasure worth Preserving.