Assateague is one in a series of barrier islands stretching along the Atlantic coast of Virginia's Eastern Shore, the lower part of a peninsula located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Many of these islands were inhabited at one time or another in the past, but today most are not, and they provide a natural stopover or home for a variety of wildlife.
The majority of the islands along the Eastern Shore are owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, the state of Virginia, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. Sections of Assateague Island are managed by the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the state of Maryland (Assateague State Park on the northern end of the island located in Maryland).
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