Prince William Conservation Alliance

Critical Habitats Threatened

(NOTE: from the November, 2003 Prince William Community Report)

Prince William's rampant development has resulted in small remaining pieces of ecosystems so isolated that some plant and animal populations can no longer survive.

The Cherry Hill Peninsula is one the few remaining forested tracts of significant size in eastern Prince William County. Populations of many forest bird species, such as warblers, have declined due to increased fragmentation. A pair of endangered bald eagles nest in the northern section of this peninsula.

The site provides habitat for a wide variety of native plant species, including the endangered small whorled pogonia. All the mammal species native to Virginia's coastal plain can found on the Cherry Hill Peninsula. The Powell's Creek and Quantico Creek estuaries provide nurseries for aquatic organisms and make a significant contribution to the health of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Regionally, Cherry Hill provides a critically important link in the chain of threatened ecological communities along the tidal Potomac. The loss of this area to development is likely to have a cumulative negative impact on the viability of natural systems well beyond the peninsula.

Prince William Conservation Alliance