Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge
Northeast Region
Wallops Island, VA
(757) 336-6122



Located east of Wattsville, Virginia, Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was created on July 10, 1975 when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) transferred 373 acres of land to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Wallops Island NWR is not open to the public.

Comprised mainly of salt marsh and woodlands, it is home to a variety of trust species, including upland and wetland-dependent migratory birds. Northern harriers are a common sight flying low over the marsh, looking for a meal. Eagles and great horned owls use the refuge to nest and raise their young. Wallops Island NWR is administered by the staff at Chincoteague NWR.

In 2002 Wallops Island NWR was opened to public hunting for the first time in its history to help reduce the affects of overbrowsing by deer on refuge habitats, and to reduce the danger of deer collision with vehicles on adjacent state highway 175 and with aircraft at the Wallops Island NASA flight facility.

A sea-level fen, known as the "Lucky Boy" sea-level fen, is part of the protected refuge. Sea-level fens are nutrient-poor, maritime seepage wetlands, confined to a few sites with an unusual combination of environmental conditions for the mid-Atlantic. The fen is located just above the highest tide levels, at the base of a slope where abundant groundwater discharges. There are only four sites known in Virginia.



c/o Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
8231 Beach Road
Chincoteague, VA   23336
(978) 465-5753

Last updated: April 30, 2010
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