Lower Potomac River Important Bird Area

The Important Bird Areas (IBA) program identifies areas crucial to maintaining bird populations and focuses conservation efforts on protecting these sites.  The program is run by BirdLife International, a coalition of more than 100 country partners, and has designated IBAs at more than 8,000 sites in 178 countries.  The National Audubon Society is BirdLife International’s U.S. partner, and oversees more than 2,500 IBAs nationwide.

Virginia has 20 IBAs that span the state’s broad diversity of habitats from the sandy coastal beaches to the rugged mountains of the Appalachians and everything in between. Among them is the Lower Potomac River IBA, which the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) “adopted” in 2010.

The Lower Potomac River IBA includes the tidal fresh/brackish reach of the Potomac River in Fairfax, Prince William, Stafford, and King George counties. It stretches from Alexandria south to Mathias Point in King George. By adopting this IBA, ASNV has agreed to further the goals of the Virginia IBA program, which are to:

  • Identify, document, and publicly recognize Virginia’s most important areas for birds.
  • Engage people in citizen science and avian conservation cooperative projects with land managers to benefit birds and their habitats at IBAs.
  • Partner with others to bring conservation tools and resources to IBAs in need of conservation.
  • Base all action on the best available scientific criteria.

ASNV sponsors citizen science, conservation, education, outreach, and advocacy activities within the IBA, in partnership with the many parks, “Friends” groups and other organizations with interests along this stretch of the Potomac.  By increasing public awareness and implementing conservation initiatives, we hope to protect this key habitat for birds and other wildlife. 

Information on Important Bird Areas in the United States can be found on the National Audubon Website .  The National Audubon's information about Virginia can be found here.