Back Creek Today


Back Creek is a tidal estuary in the Annapolis Neck peninsula — just east of downtown Annapolis and one of the city’s navigable tributaries of the Severn River.

  • Length: Just over a mile.
  • Watershed: Over 855 acres, 95 percent of which lie within the City of Annapolis.


Interactive Map of Back Creek Watershed and Shoreline Types – zoom in and click to get more information on a specific location

  • Focus: Recreational boating, shoreside recreation, heart of the commercial maritime industry in Annapolis, and heritage education and tourism.
  • Home of the city’s largest yacht yards and largest marinas with dockage for transient and live-aboard boaters.
  • Other built-up facilities: apartment buildings, condominiums, shopping centers, small marinas and single-family homes.
  • Home of the city’s Ellen O. Moyer Back Creek Nature Park, a 12-acre urban ecology park with a Depression-era water works building now used by the city for storage, interactive storm water education structures, woodland trails, a dinghy dock, and small building used by Annapolis Community Boating for public access to the water and sailing lessons, picnic areas, and shoreline and stream restoration demonstration areas in need of maintenance.
  • A wastewater treatment plant co-owned by the city and Anne Arundel County and operated by the county is in the watershed as is a large amount of retail space.
  • While the watershed is largely impervious surface, it also benefits from three conservation easements, at Americana Drive and Chester Avenue, at the SPCA nature preserve, and a six-acre tract owned by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
  • Back Creek has been declared an impaired waterway by Maryland Department of Environment in these categories: Swimming, Fishing, and Shellfishing.
  • As much as 12 feet of toxic sediment from untreated stormwater has killed the native aquatic vegetation, destroyed the fish and shellfish nurseries, an disputed in the headwaters.
  • Map of Annapolis City Watersheds and Subwatersheds