Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Site Description

  • State: Maryland
  • County: Kent
  • Ownership: Federal


  • Headquarters Pond: 16 acres
  • Shipyard Creek: 5 acres

Ecology and Management

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge contains two smaller impoundments. Eastern Neck NWR is the northernmost refuge in the larger Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Complex, which stretches along the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia. USFWS has identified 240 species of bird at the refuge. The impoundments are regularly surveyed by refuge staff and volunteers. These counts also include croplands on the refuge and adjacent tidal waters, but show robust populations of waterfowl from October – March with a high count of over 45,0000 Scaup (spp.) in the winter of 2004-2005.

There are three impounded moist soil units located on the refuge, only two of which are actively managed. The two managed moist soil units are the 16 acre Headquarters Pond and the 5 acre Ship Yard Creek. The Headquarters Pond unit was created prior to 1967 and Ship Yard Creek was constructed in 2007. Both units are allowed to fill in winter and then drawn down in spring and summer to promote freshwater wetland plant growth.


Both of the impoundments at Eastern Neck NWR are located upland in relation to the tidal marshes and are therefore relatively protected from the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal storms.

Human Value

Easter Neck NWR receives over 70,000 visitors annually, most of whom participate in wildlife viewing. The refuge has partnered with many local and national outdoor recreation organizations as well as both the University of Maryland and University of Delaware.

Literature Resources

Below is a list of articles describing research occurring at or near the impoundments:
  • Baird, S. Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 2010.
  • Earnst, S. L., and J. Bart. 2013. Costs and benefits of extended parental care in Tundra Swans Cygnus columbianus columbianus. Wildfowl Suplement 1:260-267.
  • IWMM [Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Project]. Project Update – October 2010. http://iwmmprogram.ning.com/: Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Project; 2010.
  • Staines, C. L., and S. L. Staines. 2011. The Carabidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) of Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland. Banisteria 38:71-84.
  • Staines, C. L., and S. L. Staines. 2005. The Dytiscidae and Hydrophilidae (Insecta: Coleoptera) of Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland. Maryland Naturalist 47:14-20.