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  • Over sand vehicle icon.

    OSV Zone - OPEN to Coast Guard Station

    The Hook is currently open to all access for one mile down to the Coast Guard Station. The area south of the Coast Guard Station is closed.

    OSV permit information (NPS website)

  • Event - Lighthouse

    Lighthouse & Refuge Treks Available

    The 2016 schedule for the Refuge Trek & Lighthouse Climbs is now available from our friends group, Chincoteague Natural History Association.

    Read More

  • Hours

    Refuge Hours

    The refuge is open from 6am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.

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    We're on Facebook!

    Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge has an official Facebook Page. Like us, Follow Us, Share Your Favorite Posts!

    Join the Conversation!


New coastal resilience tool gives glimpse into future

Beach Habitat 2

The Eastern Shore of Virginia lies in one of the nation's most vulnerable coastal regions, where scientists say sea levels are rising more rapidly than global average and storms are intensifying. That vulnerability makes the Shore a good place for scientists to study ways nature-based solutions can help communities be resilient in the face of climate change. Additionally, local decision-makers need good data in order to plan for the future. To address these needs, The Nature Conservancy just released a great new decision support tool for guiding appropriate use of our vulnerable coastal resources. The portion of the tool that focuses on Virginia includes an app that shows flooding and sea-level rise under various scenarios and another that shows where marshes and other wetlands are likely to be in the future. According to Curt Smith, director of planning for the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission this tool is "a one-stop shop" useful for governments, agencies, businesses and homeowners — "It's got a little bit of everything for everybody." You can read the full news story on the Delmarva Now website (

Click here to explore the Coastal Resilience Tool


Final CCP Released

We are pleased to announce the release of the final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges (NWR). The 15-year management plan will guide refuge practices to achieve our wildlife conservation mission and to support public use on the refuge.

Chincoteague and Wallops Island NWRs Final CCP

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.

Learn more about the NWRS  

Follow NWRS Online


Around the Refuge

  • Wildlife Loop Temporary Closures!

    Brontosaurus 150x118 promo

    Starting April 12, refuge staff will use heavy equipment to cut dead pine trees in the project area, from the Wildlife Loop parking lot to the entrance of the Service Road. The type of forestry equipment being used requires a 500 foot safety radius, to prevent bodily injury from flying debris. Until further notice and for your safety, the Wildlife Loop, Black Duck Trail, and Swans Cove Trail will close to all public access Monday through Friday until 3 pm. You may hear loud noises such as heavy equipment and chainsaw cutting near the Wildlife Loop. We apologize for the noise and the inconvenience of closing these trails. Please bear with us and enjoy your exploration of the rest of the refuge.

    Wildlife Loop Temporary Closures
  • Groundbreaking for Outdoor Clasroom

    Kegotank Groundbreaking 150x118 promo

    On Friday March 18, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a schoolyard habitat at Kegotank, which is a joint project between Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Accomack County Schools. The idea to build an outdoor classroom inside the school’s 7,280-square-foot courtyard came from one of our park rangers, John Fitzroy. “Really the goal is to create a platform for teaching environmental education,” said Fitzroy. Following the groundbreaking, members of the Coast Guard and Navy joined Mr. Fitzroy to begin grading the courtyard and digging stumps. Work will continue this spring with help from partners.

    Read the Full News Story
  • 2016 Youth Art Contest for IMBC

    IMBC Childrens Art Contest (Promo 150x118)

    Are you a young, aspiring wildlife artist? Perhaps you know one. We are pleased to invite youth artists (K-12) to submit entries in a children’s art contest that will be held as part of our International Migratory Bird Day Celebration. This freestyle art contest, sponsored by the Historic Main Street Merchants Association, must be an original drawing of a migratory bird that can be seen at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

    Contest Details
  • Protecting Nesting Shorebirds

    Nesting AMOY 150x118 Jim Duffy

    For Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge spring heralds the return of migratory birds such as piping plovers, American oystercatchers and least terns. Many of the birds who spend summers here also nest on the beach or in the marshes. Some of these bird populations are also declining in numbers and are federally protected, for instance the threatened piping plover. To give these birds a chance at survival we create nesting sanctuaries by closing Toms Cove Hook and Assawoman Island. From March 15 to September 15 we ask that you help us protect nesting shorebirds by staying out of these sensitive areas.

    Learn more about piping plovers.
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Sunrise over Chincoteague - Jacqui Trump.
Last Updated: Apr 26, 2016
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