State of the Streams 2024

Accotink Creek

Located in Fairfax County, Virginia, Accotink Creek is a 25-mile-long tributary of the Potomac River. It is part of a biodiverse wildlife corridor that includes the man-made Lake Accotink. Accotink Creek eventually empties into the Potomac River, west of Fort Belvoir.​

Report Highlights and Opportunities for Improvement:

Accotink Creek had a Fair overall score. It scored the highest score of 100 on Birds, which is a reflection of the richness of its wildlife corridor. Accotink also had high scores in Tree Equity and Park Access.

Some of the best opportunities to improve Accotink Creek’s health are reflected in its water quality scores. Accotink Creek scored poorly for its Benthic Macroinvertebrate or “BIBI” indicator. Benthic macroinvertebrates are reliable indicators of pollution in a stream. That’s because only particular macroinvertebrates can survive at certain levels of stream pollution.

Accotink Creek’s poor BIBI score is probably linked to its moderately poor score for Impervious Surface. Creeks that are surrounded by a higher percentage of impervious surfaces, like pavement and other hard surfaces, suffer greater pollution when water from storms runs off our roads, picks up sediment, and then runs into our creeks. When creeks are surrounded by communities with more porous surfaces (like rain gardens or permeable pavement) water from storms is better absorbed into the earth instead of quickly running off roads into our streams.

Learn more
and get involved
How you can help!

Accotink Creek

INDICATORSSCORES
Impervious Surface50
Fish Populations (FIBI)74
Benthic Macroinveterbrates (BIBI)35
Water Chemistry90
WATER QUALITY – TOTAL62
INDICATORSSCORES
Fish Passage55
Stream Habitat53
Invasive Plants61
Birds100
BIODIVERSITY – TOTAL67
INDICATORSSCORES
Tree Canopy61
Air Quality87
Stream (Riparian) Buffer76
Wetlands0
CLIMATE – TOTAL56
INDICATORSSCORES
Tree Canopy89
Park Access66
ACCESS – TOTAL78
ACCOTINK CREEK / GRAND TOTAL66 – FAIR