About Assateague Island
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is found on the Virginia portion of Assateague Island and consists of 14,000 acres of beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest. Established in 1943 to provide habitat for migratory birds, the refuge today provides habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and song birds as well as other species of wildlife and plants. The refuge also provides wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, wildlife photography and observation, interpretation, and environmental education. The refuge is home to cultural icons such as the Assateague Lighthouse and Chincoteague ponies. The recreational beach is managed in partnership with the National Park Service, who provide interpretive facilities and programs, as well as swimming at the seasonally lifeguarded beach.