The northern areas of Virginia’s Eastern Shore face a unique set of challenges related to established development and uses on the barrier islands of Wallops, Chincoteague, and Assateague that are not common to the remainder of the Eastern Shore’s seaside which is largely undeveloped and pristine. Wallops Island is host to the NASA-Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Chincoteague Island hosts the Town of Chincoteague, a vibrant community with thriving tourism and seafood industries and a federally-designated Harbor of Safe Refuge. Assateague Island is host to the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and National Park Service’s (NPS) Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS). These islands are located around Chincoteague Inlet, which provides access to inland and offshore waters which is critical for local and regional recreational and commercial economies. In addition to the individual local, state, federal, and non-profit entities that manage these areas, several research and management frameworks exist in this region.The Seaside Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) has engaged many stakeholders to reduce use conflicts and enhance the productivity and resiliency of both natural systems and local water-based industries.The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Resilience Institute (MACRI) is a multi-state, multi-disciplinary partnership dedicated to integrated climate change research with the goal of helping local and regional leaders make coastal communities and habitats more resilient through scaled science and research informing public policy.
Virginia Coast Reserve LTER (VCR) performs research activities on the mosaic of transitions and steady-state systems that comprise the barrier-island/lagoon/mainland landscape of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
The goal of this website is to provide additional information as well as links to research available for the WACI area.