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Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Assateague Island National Seashore

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments

Published August 2007


View Full Report
(PDF, 5.16 MB, 40 pages)

View Summary
(PDF, 198 KB, 2 pages)

Assateague Island National Seashore consists of a 37-mile-long barrier island along the Atlantic coasts of Maryland and Virginia, and includes adjacent marsh islands and waters up to one-half mile from shore. The park encompasses 48,700 acres of land and water, offering an extraordinary beach experience that allows visitors to enjoy wildlife and outdoor activities in a beautiful natural setting. About 3.2 million people visit the national seashore annually to boat, bird-watch, fish, hunt, crab, clam, camp, ride over-sand vehicles, or see the horses.

According to NPCA's Center for State of the Parks assessment, Assateague's natural resources rank in "fair" condition, scoring an overall 75 out of 100 points. Key problems include contamination of bayside waters from nutrient-laden runoff from agriculture and residential development on the mainland; overgrazing by non-native feral horses and sika deer, which disrupts fragile island soils, interferes with dune formation, and reduces habitat for native species; and heavy demand for over-sand vehicle (OSV) use, which harms Assateague’s beach habitats for both resident and migratory wildlife.

The assessment also finds that Assateague's cultural resources are in "poor" condition , scoring an overall 58 out of 100. The park lacks any staff solely devoted to cultural resources management, which means historic structures, archaeological sites, and archives are not adequately maintained.

This report contains descriptions of park resources and summaries of resource conditions.

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