About Fisherman Island
Fisherman Island is the southernmost barrier island in Virginia, located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and can be the last stop before migratory birds, bats and insects cross the Chesapeake Bay on their southward migration. Fisherman Island contains an amazing diversity of coastal habitats including maritime forest, extensive salt marshes, coastal scrub and grasslands, sensitive dunelands and sandy beaches. Fisherman Island has important habitat for nesting shorebirds and diamondback terrapins, wintering salt marsh obligate sparrows, clapper rails and waterfowl. It is unique in its geological formation compared to the other Virginia barrier islands with the earliest documentation of existence showing in Chesapeake Bay navigational charts in 1815.
Fisherman Island Refuge was established in 1969, but it was not until 1973 that sole ownership rights were transferred to the Service by the Department of the Navy. The island also has historical significance and once played a role in World War II. Known cultural resources on Fisherman Island consist of four structures remaining from Chesapeake Bay Harbor Defenses for World War II.