Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Machicomoco State Park (MSP) is located along the York River in Gloucester County, Virginia, between Cedarbush Creek and Timberneck Creek. Figures are shown in Appendix A. Archaeological evidence dating to the Middle and Late Woodland Periods (200 BCE – 1000 CE) strongly suggests that the area is associated with Tsenacommacah and the Powhatan’s chiefdom (DCR, 2021).

The site was primarily used as a base for hunting, fishing, and oystering activities. The area was later settled by English colonists around 1639, and was eventually sold to John Catlett in 1792, where it remained in the Catlett family’s possession for over 200 years (DCR, 2021). In recent years, a development company began constructing infrastructure, including roads and individual lot aprons, for the Timberneck subdivision. However, the subdivision was not completed, and the 645-acre area was purchased by the Conservation Fund as part of the Surry-Skiffes Creek Transmission Line Project memorandum of agreement. The park was designed and developed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, who began construction in March of 2018. The area was transferred to the Virginia DCR in October of 2020 (DCR, 2021). Today, the park is open to the public and includes camping and picnic areas, walking trails, piers, and a boat dock. Not including the upland areas adjacent to the Catlett Islands, Machicomoco has approximately 2.5 miles of shoreline: approximately 0.4 miles along Poplar Creek, 1.5 miles along Timberneck Creek, and 0.6 miles along Cedarbush Creek.

The goals of this project were to 1) utilize existing data as well as a visual inspection by boat of the park’s shoreline to make management recommendations, and 2) to develop a site specific living shoreline plan to address erosion in the vicinity of the boat dock at the park. The design is a “shovel-ready” project that contains the information in sufficient detail to permit the project including estimated quantities and costs. These tasks will provide protection for the archaeological and cultural sites and can accommodate any future improvements that will be made to the park.



Machicomoco, Shoreline



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