Above: pickerelweed, Bayview Trail, mountain laurel, green frog
LOREN ANNE BARNETT/CBF STAFF
0 HIKING TRAIL MULTI-USE TRAIL PARK LAND WETLANDS VISITOR CENTER BIRD BLIND BOAT RAMP ICNIC AREA
LUCIDITY INFORMATION DESIGN
Mason Neck State Park at a Glance
■ LOCATION: 20 miles south of Washington, D.C., on Lorton
(Fairfax County), Virginia’s Mason Neck peninsula.
■ GEOGRAPHY: About 6,000 of Mason Neck peninsula’s 9,000
acres are held as public land. The penninsula is bordered by
Gunston Cove to the north, Belmont Bay to the west, and the
Potomac River to the east.
■ ACTIVITIES: Hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, Wee Ranger
activities (ages 4 to 6), Junior Ranger programs (ages 7 to
10), and interpretive programs (all ages).
■ CONTACT: www.virginiastateparks.gov, 703/339-2380.
■ LOCAL WATERSHED GROUP: Mason Neck Citizens Association,
National Wildlife Refuge
SUCCESS AT GUNSTON COVE
Mason Neck’s Gunston Cove is an inspiring model of success for
saving the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams. In spite of the
increasing population and volume of wastewater, this Potomac River
embayment is experiencing the benefits of pollution-reduction
efforts: improved water clarity, declines in algal blooms, and a doubling of underwater grasses—a critical habitat for larval fish and
juvenile crabs. The road to progress has been steady and measured—a great case for implementing EPA’s Chesapeake pollution diet
(see page 10). Fairfax County has been proactive in decreasing
nutrient pollution since the late 1970s. In a response to the ban on
phosphate in laundry detergents and sewage treatment plant
upgrades, phosphorus pollution was dramatically reduced in the
early 1980s. And, in the last several years, additional sewage treatment upgrades have reduced nitrogen pollution.