Features

  • 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.

    Contact Info, Hours & Directions

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Recent Bird Sightings

    This list shows data from eBird Trail Tracker. Since many refuge locations are included, one species may be listed multiple times.

    Recent Bird Sightings

  • Over sand vehicle icon.

    Virginia OSV Zone Status

    All OSV status updates for the Virginia portion of Assateague Island are posted in real time via the twitter account @ChincoteagueOsv.

    Click for OSV Zone Status Site

Around the Refuge

Volunteer of the Year

Peter Pulman 2019 Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to Peter Pulman, the refuge's 2019 Volunteer of the Year! Peter is a long-time, ever dependable ambassador for the refuge. He has volunteered for us since 2003, serving as a constant educator to staff and visitors alike. He offers a friendly face in the visitor center and often shares nature-related articles with staff & fellow volunteers. Peter also supports the refuge through his work with our friends group, Chincoteague Natural History Association; through which, he staffs the lighthouse and offers interpretive information on Refuge Treks. Thank you Peter for all that you do to support our Mission!

Pet Policy

Pet Policy

Please leave your dog at home. All pets are prohibited (even in your vehicle). Service dogs as defined by the ADA permitted on a 6 ft leash.

ADA Service Animal Information

2019 Striped Bass Regulations

Striped Bass promo

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission issued new fishing regulations for striped bass in 2019. Know before you fish by checking their website for the most current information.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission Website

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.
Looking Forward

Beach Relocation Planning

New Beach Experience (Promo 150x118)

A third collaborative, recreational beach planning workshop was held with local, state and federal partners in May 2017 to continue refining design concepts at the new recreational beach location, 1.5 miles north of the current recreational beach. Funding is currently unavailable. More materials available at FHWA Website: https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/va/chin-10/

2017 Beach Relocation Update (pdf 266KB)

About the Complex

Chincoteague NWR Complex

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is managed as part of the Chincoteague NWR Complex .

Read more about the complex
About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System

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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