About Us

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge consists of 325 acres of woodland and freshwater tidal marsh. The refuge was established to protect the contiguous wetland features characteristic of this small strip of land, bordered by urban development. Its southernmost boundary lies along the northern shore and mouth of Neabsco Creek; from there, the refuge extends north along Occoquan Bay for almost 2 miles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages this secluded area, on which many species of plants, animals, and insects rely. 

Our Mission

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge provides valuable acres of ‘wild woods and wetland’ which are rapidly disappearing within this region of Virginia. The refuge will continue to protect wetlands, bottomland hardwoods, and associated native wildlife and plants in an otherwise highly urbanized setting along the tidal Potomac River. Assuming access issues are resolved, the refuge will provide limited, quality, wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities, in particular, wildlife viewing and fishing.

Refuge Purpose

Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and waters. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose.

The purpose of Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is "to protect the natural features of a contiguous wetland area." Public Law 91-499 (1970), dated Oct. 22, 1970.

Our History

In 1970, 164 acres of land, destined to be Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge, was acquired by the Department of the Interior “to protect the features of a contiguous wetland area.” It was not until 1979 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service obtained that land to officially establish the refuge. At the time, Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge consisted of 164 acres of land along Farm Creek in eastern Prince William County. An additional 161 acres of land were acquired for the refuge with a donation from Prince William County in 1992. Elizabeth Hartwell, a noted conservationist in the region, was also instrumental in the establishment of Featherstone, along with Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge and Mason Neck State Park.

Other Facilities in this Complex

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

In 1998, Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge, were reorganized into the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Reorganization allowed for better apportion of staff and resources for all three refuges. The refuges border Occoquan Bay at the junction of Fairfax County and Prince William County.