Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Recovery, restoration & building coastal resilience
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge at sunset - Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Location: Chincoteague Island, VA


Resilience Outline Resilience Projects Recovery Icon Recovery Projects

Resil Shield

Project: A Stronger Coast - Three USFWS Northeast Region National Wildlife Refuge Projects to Increase Coastal Resilience and Preparedness

Location: Regional

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $2,060,000

Project Summary

The three projects included in this study are intended to identify vulnerabilities and strengths of over 70 miles of shoreline at coastal refuges, assess the integrity of over 30,000 acres of coastal marsh that protect adjacent shorelines and help preserve the species they support.

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Resil Shield

Project: Living Shoreline - Oyster Reef Restoration and Construction

Location: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - Chincoteague Island, VA

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $553,425

Project Summary

This project will construct two living shoreline projects totalling 3,650 linear feet and two acres of oyster reefs on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This will help restore, rebuild and enhance natural defenses to the refuge after impacts associated with Hurricane Sandy.

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Recovery hammer

Project: Remove Trees and Debris, Repair Buildings and Rehab Beach Road

Project Type: Recovery

Funding awarded: $1,425,000

Project Summary

This project will remove debris and repair damages to buildings, roads and trails at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Clean and restore coastal marsh and beach habitat
  • Repair refuge facilities

Project Benefits

  • Restores coastal habitats
  • Restores staff and visitor access
  • Addresses staff and visitor safety concerns

Additional Details

Hurricane Sandy damaged visitor facilities and refuge staff living quarters, caused erosion to trails and roads, and left tons of trees and debris strewn across refuge land, including sensitive tidal marsh and beach areas. Trees and debris will be removed from marsh and beach areas and buildings, trails and roads repaired, including damaged roofs at Quarters # 47 and 48 and refuge maintenance sheds.


Recovery hammer

Project: Provide Backup Power - Generator, Solar and Electrical Improvements

Project Type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $686,591

Project Summary

This project will provide backup and solar photovoltaic power to facilities at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Conservation / Restoration Goals

  • Supply reliable ancillary power sources to FWS buildings
  • Utilize renewable (solar) electrical systems where possible

Project Benefits

  • Ensures reliable backup power to facilities during emergency outages
  • Reduces annual utility bills for FWS facilities, saving taxpayer dollars
  • Reduces FWS facilities' carbon footprints

Additional Details

This project is one of many regionally planned electrical upgrades to facilities at National Wildlife Refuges and other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stations. Hurricane Sandy and previous storms have knocked out power to headquarters, visitor centers, maintenance buildings, staff housing and supporting structures including garages and visitor restrooms. Outages have damaged sensitive electronic equipment, disabled heating and cooling and resulted in burst frozen water pipes. Equipping buildings with backup generators will enable them to weather outages more effectively and serve as resources for their communities for communications and emergency coordination efforts. In addition, stations equipped with photovoltaic solar panels will see their dependency on off-site power grids reduced or eliminated. Solar power systems will also reduce facilities' carbon footprints and save taxpayer dollars through reduced utility bills.

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Chincoteague Resilience Project Map


Chincoteague Recovery Project Map


Chincoteague Damage Photos

Last updated: October 28, 2014