The Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge was created on July 10, 1975 when 373 acres of land were transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The refuge, comprised mainly of salt marsh and woodlands, is located east of Wattsville in Accomack County, Virginia and contains habitat for a variety of trust species, including upland- and wetland-dependent migratory birds. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has an agreement with NASA to use the NASA-owned portion of Wallops Island proper on a non-interference basis for research and management of declining wildlife in special need of protection. The agreement with NASA covers approximately 3,000 acres of Wallops Island proper and is primarily salt marsh. Wallops Island NWR and the agreement with NASA are administered by the staff at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. A sea-level fen, known as the Simoneston Bay sea-level fen, exist on and is protected by the refuge. Sea-level fens are nutrient-poor, maritime seepage wetlands, confined to a few sites with an unusual combination of environmental conditions for the mid-Atlantic. The fen is located just above the highest tide levels, at the base of a slope where abundant groundwater discharges. Only four occurrences are known in Virginia. The Wallops Island NWR was opened for the first time ever to public hunting in 2002 to reduce the affects of overbrowsing by deer on refuge habitats and reduce the potential of deer collision with vehicles on the adjacent state highway 175 and neighboring flight facility.
From the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel near Norfolk, Virginia, take US 13 North to State Route 175 East Approximately 5 miles. Refuge will be on your right.
C/O Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge 8231 Beach Road Chincoteague, VA 23336
FWS - Fish and Wildlife Service