The Health and Ecology of Hunting Creek
Nov 15 @ 3:21 am – 4:21 am

Great Hunting Creek (Mussel Creek, c. 1600s) near its confluence with the Potomac River in the City of Alexandria, Virginia.
Photo by R.H. Simmons.

On November 15, Dr. Kim de Mutsert will give a presentation to the Friends of Dyke Marsh on the health and ecology of Hunting Creek/Cameron Run, especially the fish of this tributary of the Potomac River between Alexandria and northern Fairfax County. Her study researches water quality, fish, benthic macroinvertebrate communities, anadromous fish usage, and Escherichia coli and micropollutant levels.

Dr. Mutsert is Assistant Professor at George Mason University and studies fish ecology in estuarine and coastal ecosystems, including the effects of environmental factors and anthropogenic impacts on fish abundance, biomass, community structure, and fisheries landings. These streams and the embayment are favorite sites for roosting gulls, migrating shorebirds, and other birds, especially at low tide. The embayment receives treated wastewater from the Alexandria Renew Enterprises wastewater treatment plant and inflow from Cameron Run.

Streams in the Cameron Run watershed “are listed on the EPA list of impaired waters for acute ammonia and fecal coliform contamination,” according to Fairfax County. Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality reports that the creek is impaired for bacteria and PCBs in fish tissue.

The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, the Sierra Club/Mount Vernon Group, and the Potomac Riverkeeper are cosponsoring this meeting.

This free, public program will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center. (If you use a GPS device to find the park, enter the park’s address, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22306, not the park’s name.)

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