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Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Eastern Shore Laboratory

  • ESL Campus
    ESL Campus
    Aerial view of VIMS Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague, Virginia.
    Photo by P.G. Ross
  • Restoring Bay Scallop Populations
    Restoring Bay Scallop Populations
    Juvenile bay scallops produced in the ESL hatchery are placed in restored seagrass beds in South Bay as part of an ongoing effort to restore scallop populations in the VA coastal bays.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Experimental Oyster Reefs
    Experimental Oyster Reefs
    P.G. Ross, Alan Birch, and Edward Smith prepare to sample experimental oyster reefs in the Virginia Coast Reserve.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Education
    Education
    William & Mary students and professors embark on a field trip to study Physical Oceanography during the Field Studies in Coastal Marine Environments course.
    Photo by Wes Hudson
  • Education
    Education
    Undergraduate students learn about salt marsh and dune vegetation as part of William & Mary's Field Studies in Coastal Marine Environments course.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Oyster Reef Research
    Oyster Reef Research
    Alan Birch and P.G. Ross assess experimental oyster reefs in Onancock Creek.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Barrier Islands
    Barrier Islands
    Virginia's Atlantic shoreline is home to some of the nation's most pristine barrier islands and saltmarsh lagoons.
  • Wachapreague
    Wachapreague
    VIMS Eastern Shore Lab is located in the small seaside village of Wachapreague, VA.
    Photo by Stephanie Bonniwell
  • Salt Marsh Ecology
    Salt Marsh Ecology
    Researchers use respiration chambers and an infrared gas chromatograph to measure marsh respiration rates.
    Photo by Randy Jones
  • Vessels
    Vessels
    The Eastern Shore Lab operates a fleet of small vessels for coastal research and education.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Shark Longline Survey
    Shark Longline Survey
    The waters off of the Eastern Shore Lab represent one station in the VIMS Longline Shark Survey.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Education
    Education
    Students explore the diversity of organisms living in the barrier island - salt marsh - lagoon ecosystem while on an ESL field trip.
    Photo by Wes Hudson
  • Education
    Education
    Visiting students use microscopes and taxonomy guides to identify a variety of marine species found in the waters near the Eastern Shore Laboratory.
    Photo by Wes Hudson
  • Education
    Education
    Salisbury University students use stereo scopes to examine the diversity of organisms collected in nearby creeks and mud flats.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • Seawater Tanks
    Seawater Tanks
    VIMS graduate student Amber Hardison monitors her seawater tanks for her PHD study of nutrients and macroalgae in Eastern shore lagoons.
  • Salt Marsh Ecology
    Salt Marsh Ecology
    Three researchers head off into the vast expanse of coastal marshes on the Eastern Shore.
    Photo by ESL Staff
  • New Student Field Trip
    New Student Field Trip
    Members of the VIMS matriculating class of 2008 pose for a photo during the annual "new students" field trip to the Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague.
  • Field Trip
    Field Trip
    Members of the VIMS matriculating class of 2008 learn about coastal erosion during the annual "new students" field trip to the Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague.
  • Sunrise in Wachapreague
    Sunrise in Wachapreague
    Watching the sun rise over the marsh is an early morning bonus when visiting the Eastern Shore Laboratory.
    Photo by Stephanie Bonniwell
  • Summer Thunderstorm
    Summer Thunderstorm
    The Eastern Shore is a great place to watch summer thunderstorms.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science's Eastern Shore Laboratory (ESL) serves as both a field station in support of research and teaching and as a site for resident research in coastal ecology and aquaculture. By virtue of its access to unique coastal habitats, excellent water quality, and an extensive seawater laboratory, the ESL affords educational and research opportunities not available elsewhere within the region. Over its 40-year history, the laboratory has become internationally recognized for shellfish research, with important contributions to molluscan ecology and culture.

Administration

Linda Ward
lward@vims.edu
757-787-5816

Dormitory and Vessel Reservations

Sean Fate
sfate@vims.edu
757-787-5575

Seawater Facilities Reservations

Stephanie Bonniwell
sbenwitz@vims.edu
757-787-5814

Mailing Address
Eastern Shore Laboratory
PO Box 350
Wachapreague, VA 23480
Physical Address
Eastern Shore Laboratory
40 Atlantic Avenue
Wachapreague, VA 23480