Welcome to the Potomac River Refuges

Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck NWR              Occoquan Bay NWR               Featherstone NWR

 There is Something for Everyone at the Potomac River Refuges

Whether you are a birder, photographer, or hiker, there is something for you to enjoy at one of the Potomac River Refuges.  If it is fresh air and a change of scenery you need after a hectic day, then come step into a place where traffic noise is the sound of spring peepers and songbirds and congestion is a group of twelve bald eagles out on the ice.

For hikers, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck and Occoquan Bay NWR's have walking trails.  Both Refuges also offer excellent birding opportunities, with the species count at OBNWR now up to 242.  Bald eagles can often be seen at both refuges, with the best viewing during winter.  

Weekend programs and special events offer a chance to learn more from rangers and naturalists.  For Scouts and other groups, the Friends of the Potomac River Refuges offer special walks and programs.  Contact us for more information.

Whether you are a Refuge veteran or first-time visitor, we welcome you to share in the beauty of the diverse habitats at the Potomac River Refuges.

Learn more about how you can help the refuge system from the National Wildlife Refuge Association (www.refugenet.org) and from the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp (www.friendsofthestamp.org).


Visit us on Facebook! 
   Helping to conserve three important National Wildlife Refuges
    in the midst of highly populated
Northern Virginia.

A BIG THANK YOU to all attendees who helped make the Annual Membership Meeting Jan 30 2016 a Success  (see below for more on the meeting)

Upcoming events

10 Feb 2016 7:00 PM (EST) • Visitor Contact Station Building, Dawson Beach Rd, Woodbridge
09 Mar 2016 7:00 PM (EST) • Visitor Contact Station Building, Dawson Beach Rd, Woodbridge
01 Apr 2016 7:00 PM (EDT) • Occoquan Bay NWR
13 Apr 2016 7:00 PM (EDT) • Visitor Contact Station Building, Dawson Beach Rd, Woodbridge
The Friends annual membership meeting was held Saturday January 30, 2016 at Gunston Hall.  The members approved two changes to the organization's By-laws: 1) to lift the restriction on holding the annual meeting in January - the board now has flexibility within the first nine months of the year to schedule it; and 2) the minimum number of Board members was reduced from seven to five.  We welcomed Harry Glasgow who volunteered to be a Director and was approved by the members.  There are now six Directors but more would be welcome.

The members heard from three guest speakers:  
1) Paul Baicich who spoke on Wood and Ruddy Ducks and on th eFederal Duck Stamp Program and its importance to the US Refuge system;


        Male Ruddy Duck                  Male Wood Duck

2) Laura McDonald who spoke about Audubon's ongoing activities including upcoming waterfowl surveys.  Laura is the only paid staff member of the Northern Virginia chapter of the Audubon Society, which is the largest chapter of the Audubon Society in the US; and 

3) Daffny Pritchford – Potomac River Refuge Complex Manager who spoke about the status of the three refuges and plans for 2016.

 Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome visitors at Occoquan Bay NWR.
Assist staff with greeting visitors on the weekends. Volunteers are asked to commit to one shift per month. Shift length and time is flexible. If interested contact Rozz Wu, US Fish and Wildlife, Potomac River Complex - e-mail address:  

The Potomac Pullers volunteers focusing on control, management, and prevention of invasive plant species to protect habitats and wildlife.
Volunteers will:
  • Learn to identify invasive plants
  • Map invasives using GPS
  • Remove invasives
  • Monitor results
  • Increase public awareness

To join Potomac Pullers contact Rosalind Wu at 703.490.4979 or Rosalind_Wu@fws.gov.


Last updated:  February 6, 2016

© Friends of the Potomac River Refuges                   Contact FOPRR

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software