Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice
Although most refuge lands and outdoor spaces have remained open for the public to enjoy, we ask that you Recreate Responsibly.

  • Check local conditions on this website and call ahead for current information.
  • Operations vary based on local public health conditions.
  • Consistent with CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
  • Most importantly, stay home if you feel sick and continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself and others.

What's Happening

Marsh Terracing Project

Marsh Terrace

The City of Virginia Beach is leading an effort to install marsh terracing in Bonney Cove. Marsh terracing is a type of coastal restoration that helps to reestablish marshland in shallow open waters. The Bonney Cove location is located within Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

City of Virginia Beach Marsh Terrace Project

Blue Goose Tram Tours


The Blue Goose Tram is running in 2021. False Cape State Park is managing the tram program and taking reservations for all trips at this time. Please call (757)426-7128 for reservations or visit the False Cape State Park Event Schedule (link below) to view tram tour dates and times.

False Cape State Park Event Schedule

Expanded Eligibility for Military Pass!

November 11, 2020 Military Pass - 2021

Beginning Veteran's Day 2020, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt expanded eligibility for the America the Beautiful Military Pass, to include veterans and Gold Star Families. Veterans may obtain a pass at Back Bay NWR by presenting a DOD ID card, a Veteran Health ID Card, a Veteran ID Card or a driver's license with a veteran's designation. Passes are available Fridays - Tuesdays from 8:00am-3:30pm at the Fee Booth, located at the entrance to the refuge at 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456.

Military Pass Press Release

eBird Trail Tracker

Seasonal Closure (PROMO)

We have added a new feature to our website! Check out the eBird Trail Tracker to see what sightings have been seen recently at the refuge!

eBird Trail Tracker
For Educators

Every Kid Outdoors

EKO Logo Color Web Feature

Did you know that both 4th and 5th grade students are eligible for an Every Kid Outdoors pass? This free pass covers entrance fees for 4th graders and their families to any federal land in the country. To obtain a pass go to the Every Kid Outdoors website (link below), complete an activity, print a voucher and bring it to the refuge. We hope to see you soon!

Every Kid Outdoors Website

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