National Wildlife Refuge
|Refuge Location: 13950 Dawson Beach Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22191
Headquarters Office: 12638 Darby Brooke Ct
Woodbridge, VA 22192
Phone Number: 703-490-4979
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Occoquan Bay NWR was established in 1998 and is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers. This 644 acre refuge was previously a military research site and is part of the Potomac River NWR Complex. The refuge has a unique mix of wetlands, forest, and native grasslands that provides a diversity of habitats for wide variety of species. Wetland habitats cover about 50% of the refuge and include wet meadows, bottomland hardwoods, open freshwater marsh, and tidally influenced marshes and streams. Upland meadows and mature oak-hickory-beech forest are interspersed among the wetlands. The unusual number and interspersion of habitats provides visitors a unique opportunity to view a wide variety of wildlife species and habitats in a relatively small area. Noted for its grassland nesting birds, neo-tropical migrants and raptors, the refuge also hosts wildlife common to Virginia. Over 220 species of birds, over 600 species of plants, and 65 species of butterflies have been documented on the refuge. Many of the bird species are uncommon or rare in the region. Spring and fall are great times to observe migrating Neotropical and raptors. No pets allowed on refuge.
For current refuge information please visit the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge website at: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/occoquan_bay/
Getting There . . .
Located in Woodbridge, Virginia, 20 miles south of Washington D.C. From the north: take I-95 south to exit 161 (Woodbridge), follow Rt 1 south, cross the Occoquan River, turn left at light onto Dawson Beach Rd. Follow road to end. From the south: take I-95 north to exit 156 (Rippon Blvd). Continue to Rt. 1 and turn left. Go north on Rt 1 several miles and turn right onto Dawson Beach Rd. Follow road to the end.
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The management program on the refuge focuses on the grasslands and grassland nesting birds. The refuge uses a combination of mowing and burning to maintain the grasslands, reduce woody vegetation, combat invasive species, and to reduce ground litter. Selected areas are mowed or burned each year to provide several stages of grassland growth for a wide diversity of bird species. The refuge has implemented a managed hunt for white-tailed deer to reduce the population size, reduce impacts on vegetation, and improved herd health. A migration, survival and production (MAPS) bird banding site is operated on the refuge each year. Learn More>>