• Event - Junior Duck Stamp

    Junior Duck Stamp Contest

    Dust off your sketch pad, grab your binoculars and ready your pencils! Artwork for the Virginia Junior Duck Stamp contest is due on March 1.

    Click here for details.

  • 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

  • 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.

    Contact Info, Hours & Directions

  • 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

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.

What's All that Racket?

Caution Promo 150x118

You may see or hear forestry equipment if you visit between February and April, 2018. During this time a refuge contractor will be cutting and chipping trees from Beach Road to the D-Dike area. This work will create a road corridor to the potential new beach relocation site. For more information, please click the link below.

2018 Spring Tree Cutting Project (pdf 838KB)

Refuge Newsletter

Monarch with Boy

Read the latest updates from around the refuge!

January 2018 Newsletter (pdf 259KB)
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


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