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    OSV Zone Open to Coast Guard Station

    The Hook is open for all access to the Coast Guard Station and remains closed south of the station to protect nesting birds.

    OSV permit information (NPS website)

  • Hours

    Refuge Hours

    The refuge is open from 5am to 10pm, 7 days a week. Visitor Center hours are 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week.

  • Nesting AMOY 150x118 Jim Duffy

    Protecting Nesting Shorebirds

    To give birds a chance at survival we create nesting sanctuaries by closing Toms Cove Hook and Assawoman Island from Mar. 15-Sep. 15.

    We protect threatened species like the piping plover.

  • Fee Free

    Fee Free Day!

    In honor of our International Migratory Bird Day Celebration, the refuge entrance fee is waived all day on May 14, 2016.

  • Woodland Trail

    Woodland Trail Update

    Wondering what happened at the entrance to the Woodland Trail?

    Click Here to Read More


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

  • 22nd Annual International Migratory Bird Celebration

    2016 IMBC Logo

    Join us from 10:00AM to 3:00PM as we celebrate the wonder of bird migration! We will offer activities for all ages so you can Spread Your Wings for Bird Conservation! Join our National Park Service partners for bird watching or enjoy the 10:00am introduction to bird and wildlife photography presented by Bill Wallen in the refuge auditorium. The Children’s Art Contest Award Ceremony will follow at noon in the refuge auditorium. In a double feature (11:00am and 1:00pm), staff from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Tuckahoe Complex Aviary present Bald Eagles! A National Success Story featuring a live bald eagle. Crafts and activities abound all day with booths from our local educational partners including the National Park Service, Chincoteague Bay Field Station, and the Ward Museum of Wildlife Art. You can also enjoy booths featuring local wildlife artists, refreshments and more!

    2016 IMBC Program Schedule
  • Periodic Trail Closures

    Brontosaurus 150x118 promo

    Refuge staff continues to use heavy equipment to cut dead pine trees along the refuge entrance trail, Lighthouse Trail, Woodland Trail and Service Road. The type of forestry equipment being used requires a 500 foot safety radius, to prevent bodily injury from flying debris. Please proceed with caution in these areas and be aware of periodic short-term closures of these areas while tree removal is underway. 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.

    Map and More Information
  • History of Dune Management at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

    Beach Habitat

    If you visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge year after year, you've likely noticed the dramatic changes to our recreational beach and the accompanying parking areas. The history of managing dunes in this area is a fascinating story spanning over 50 years. Discover the lessons learned by the National Park Service over the years in this fascinating look into the history of our beach.

    History of Dune Management
  • Groundbreaking for Outdoor Classroom

    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
Page Photo Credits — All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Sunrise over Chincoteague - Jacqui Trump.
Last Updated: May 02, 2016
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