Hot Issues...

Access: Access to the creek for boating is not available to the public. There is no boat or canoe launch at nearby publicly-owned sites (Riverside Park, operated by the National Park Service). Ramps located within nearby neighborhoods are strictly limited to neighborhood residents. . Although public access for fishing on the Potomac and the mouth of the creek is available from the Parkway, swimming there is very dangerous - tidal flow beneath the bridge is very fast and strong, and there is a subsurface circular current under the bridge that has accounted for at least two deaths in the past ten years. Signs recently placed forbid wading near the bridge.

 

Development and dredging: Development has filled-in much of the creek. When you look at the map linked to the colonial history part of the site, you will see a Little Hunting Creek whose mouth is over 200 feet wide! The rate of fill is such that, since the channel was dredged in the 60s to 15 feet to Wessynton, it has now all but filled again, requiring renewed dredging. Wessynton dredged its two canals several years ago at a price exceeding $100,000. Almost all of the banks of the creek are privately owned.

 

Wildlife: Some residents are annoyed by the seemingly increasing resident flock of Canada Geese and would encourage "GEESEPEACE" activities (http://www.geesepeace.com/). Others worry that shooting of geese allowed in season along the Potomac takes place only a few hundred yards from the Parkway. Residents are also concerned that turtles are legally "harvested" here, and that commercial catfish fishing will detract from the ability of eagles and osprey to maintain populations in the area. In 2005, the creek was designated a no-hunting zone by the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. Also in 2005, Fairfax County passed an ordinance authorized by state law forbidding feeding of the waterfowl that populate the creek.

 

Lawn chemical use adjacent to the creek: Some residents worry about the effect of chemicals that creekside property owners put on those lawns and gardens that drain into the creek. However all the storm drains in the area essentially drain into the creek, making this a much larger problem.

 

Pollution/water management and quality: The water is naturally brackish. Residents are concerned about trash in the water and come out to pick it up on a regular basis. As development upstream increases, they are increasingly concerned that this development contributes to a degraded environment in which storm water floods into the creek from paved surfaces upstream after every rain, eroding its banks and carrying large loads of pollution and urban trash.