Bird Watchers

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"The islands shelter more than 250 species of raptors, songbirds, and shorebirds, which find food in the adjacent bays and salt marshes. Starting in September, songbirds and raptors stop by on their way south. The forested southern tip of the Eastern Shore serves as a funneling point for millions of migrating songbirds. Winter brings thousands of black ducks, brant and snow geese. Come May, a thick crowd of sandpipers covers the beaches and tidal flats, fattening themselves before flying to arctic nesting grounds. Recent spring surveys revealed nearly 3,000 red knots stopped on Metompkin and Parramore islands alone just after the full moon in May. In winter, some 2,000 American oystercatchers, nearly a quarter of the North American population of these remarkable birds, take refuge on the Eastern Shore. Also seeking sanctuary here is the piping plover, a small, thick-necked bird whose nesting habitat has been overwhelmed by coastal development elsewhere. The reserve's undeveloped islands offer plovers some of their favorite nesting grounds: an area littered with sun-bleached shells. When the dun-colored plovers nest here, their camouflage is perfect; the birds are nearly impossible to spot until they move. Other nesters here include terns and skimmers. During the peak of the nesting season in June, brown pelicans and royal terns flock to Fisherman Island; black skimmers and common terns are thick on Cedar Island. All must ward off danger. Marauding gulls, for one, can puncture the eggs of a tern colony or destroy untended chicks. "


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"The Virginia coastal zone is the source of so much value. It is treasured by Virginians and admired by all who visit. From the soaring eagles of the James River, and the frolicking river otters of Mobjack Bay, to the famed oysters of the Lynnhaven, and the cherished ponies of Chincoteague... From the impenetrable pocosins and marshes of the Great Dismal Swamp, to the windy wilderness of the Eastern Shore - barrier islands... From strategic military bases like Quantico and Oceana to the NASA Wallops Flight Center... From the recovered colony of Jamestown, to the resort strip of Virginia Beach and the international port of Hampton Roads... The Virginia coastal zone is truly a national treasure. There are so many who use it; so many who need it."

Historic Triangle

"The three east-Virginian towns of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown make up a unique historical attraction where the clock has been turned back 400 plus years."

"The first British settlers in the 'New World' founded Jamestown in 1607. In nearby Yorktown in 1781 Americans won their independence during the last major battle of the Revolution. "

"Visitors can now see what life was like in the fledgling Virginia during the colonial period by visiting Williamsburg, where a British flag still flies over the Capitol building and women are still wearing long dresses and ruffled caps, with men in powdered wigs populating the taverns. It all adds up to the greatest historic theme show ever, but it makes Williamsburg into more than just a recreation of an 18th-century town. Chat to the locals and you feel you are actually back in those days, as blacksmiths puff their bellows at the forge and clip-clopping horses pull carriages along the cobblestone streets. "

44 Counties/Cities and 43 Towns

"The Virginia Coastal Zone includes 87 jurisdictional enties."

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Coastal Features

Coastal NEWS

"Virginia Beach, VA - The Coast Guard has a new boat for patrols and training that is intended to respond rapidly for missions on very short "

Coastal Links

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