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Owls Creek-Rudee Inlet Watershed
About
Characteristic
Information
Source
Location
photo credit: Justin Fuller with Rudee Tours
  • The Owls Creek watershed is the smallest of the watersheds in the city. It’s bounded roughly by 19th Street to the north and Camp Pendleton to the south; and Birdneck Road to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

 

Size (shoreline and acreage drained)
  • Roughly 3,000 acres, 1.5% of the city
  1. Comprehensive Plan p.112
Population Density
  • Much of the land is commercial, city and state owned and military, so low population density
  • VB City Maps
Land Use (urban/rural)
  • This watershed is highly populated with businesses and homes on the east side, the military base on the southwest.  It encompasses marinas, resort hotels and restaurants, mixed with open wetland areas.
Topography
  • VB City Maps 
% owned by state or Federal

The majority of the watershed is owned by the state and federal governments.

Names of Federal or State properties
  • Camp Pendleton
  • Oceana Naval Air Station-
Major Bodies of Water and Salinity
  • Rudee Inlet- brackish- maintained through dredging
  • Owls Creek- originally called Old’s Creek (1767)-named for a prominent Princess Anne family.  In 19th Century deed book called it Owl’s Creek.
  • Lake Rudee- Salt
  • Lake Christine-Freshwater
  • Lake Holly- Freshwater
  • Lake Wesley- borrow pit for sand replenishment- Salt

3. page 11

Tides
  • Lunar 
Recreation Areas (access points, natural areas, parks)
  • Virginia Aquarium, Marshview Park, Owls Creek Preservation Area, Owls Creek Boat ramp & Rudee Inlet Station Marina

3.

Flora and Fauna
Characteristic
Information
Source
Plants
  • Evening primrose, Beardtongue, cypress trees, salicornia
  • See listing from Lookdown Newsletter 1987
Urban Tree Canopy
  • 35.4%
  • Urban Tree Canopy analysis 2008 Data
Wetlands
  • Owls Creek Preservation area
    Owls Creek marsh is a high salinity marsh because of its proximity to the ocean. The salinity range is typically 20-30 ppt, with lower salinities found immediately after rainfall.
  • Many areas of Non-tidal wetlands, especially along the edges of the Naval air station.
  •  Section 1, page 23 1.Page 144
Animals
  • Eagles nest along Owl’s creek, Herons, Egrets, Mergansers, ducks, Osprey, otters, nutria, sand shrimp, bay anchovies, blue crabs, spot, weakfish, blue mussels, tautog, croaker, trout, seahorses, lookdown fish (see checklist in Lookdown newsletter, Dec 1987)
  • 6.
Soil Characteristics
Other Organisms
Characteristic
Information
Source
History
  • In June of 2013 people were invited to work alongside archeologists from The James River Institute of Archaeology to uncover a 17th c. Colonial homestead.  Lots of artifacts from that time period and older were found. An indian spearhead from 3000BC  was also found.
  • Seatack Community History- originally settled by African Americans in late 1700s-early 1800s-owned their own farms and built their own homes. Formed the first school for Negro Children at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Seatack Citizens later provided the land for the original Seatack Elementary School that opened in 1952.
  • Black men were appointed Air Raid Wardens to protect the little town of VB during WW II
  • Returning veterans built the first black-owned and operated fire department ever to exist in the US- known as the Seatack volunteer Fire Department.
  • Seatack was named from the words Sea Attack because it was the point on the coast of rural Princess Anne County where the community was the target of cannonballs fired from British ships and was where troops came ashore during an attack in the War of 1812.
Misc
  • This watershed has undergone extensive changes over the last 100 years.
  • Areas known as Lake Wesley, Lake Rudee and Owls Creek were shallow marshy area. Depth was only about 18 inches deep.

(see Lookdown Article for all the changes that happen in this area)

  • Railroad came through this area near Lake Holly. Remnants of the track are still existent. 

6.

Reference Links:

  1. Cover_Reference Handbook
  2. https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1681&context=reports
  3. Marshview Park Master Plan
  4. https://m.seatackcivic.org/History.html
  5. Rudee Inlet 1983 Report
  6. “The Lookdown” Newsletter, December 7, 1987.  Volume 7, Number 2. Virginia Marine Science Museum.

Photo Credit: Justin Fuller

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