Virginia Barrier Islands

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The Virginia Barrier Islands forming a line along the eastern coast of Delmarva.

The Virginia Barrier Islands are a continuous chain of long, narrow, low-lying, sand and scrub barrier islands separated from one another by narrow inlets and from the mainland by a series of shallow marshy tidal bays along the entire coast of the Virginia end of the Delmarva Peninsula.[1][2][3] Several of these islands were once significantly larger, covered with pine forests, and inhabited. After the completion of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad in the late 19th Century, at least five lavish hunting and fishing clubs were established on Virginia's barrier islands and they became a playground for wealthy sportsmen from Northeastern cities who would arrive by train. US President Grover Cleveland visited Hog Island to hunt waterfowl and go fishing in the early 1890s.

Devastating hurricanes that struck the Delmarva Peninsula in 1896 and again in 1933 caused significant shoreline erosion, and completely flooded the islands killing the pine forests and damaging or destroying many structures. Residents of the barrier islands began to leave for the mainland, in some cases taking their homes with them where they still stand today in the small towns of Willis Wharf and Oyster. The sole remaining habitation on these islands, the town of Broadwater, Virginia, was evacuated in 1936 following a hurricane.[4] Because they are uninhabited they form an important ecological region, and several make up the Virginia Coast Reserve.[5]

The Virginia Barrier Islands terminate to the south at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and are preceded to the north by Fenwick Island, a barrier spit, not a true island, spanning the Maryland and Delaware border (Transpeninsular Line). They are, in order from north to south:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Barrier Islands Center on Virginia's Eastern Shore
  2. ^ Charles McGuigan (July–August 2012). "Virginia's Barrier Islands". North of the James Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  3. ^ Brooks M. Barnes, Barry R. Truitt, and William W. Warner, eds., Seashore Chronicles: Three Centuries of the Virginia Barrier Islands, University Press of Virginia, 1997. ISBN 0-8139-1879-0
  4. ^ Fariss Samarrai (July 2000). "Shifting sands". University of Virginia, Arts & Sciences Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  5. ^ Connie Bond. "Shifting sands". Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
  6. ^ http://www.bayjournal.com/article/last_cedar_island_house_slips_into_sea
  7. ^ Barry Truitt, "Robert E. Lee: An Account of His Visit to Smith Island" in Brooks M. Barnes, Barry R. Truitt, and William W. Warner, eds., Seashore Chronicles: Three Centuries of the Virginia Barrier Islands, University Press of Virginia,1997.
  8. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the United States: Virginia". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

References[edit]

  • Brooks M. Barnes, Barry R. Truitt, and William W. Warner, eds., Seashore Chronicles: Three Centuries of the Virginia Barrier Islands, University Press of Virginia, 1997. ISBN 0-8139-1879-0
  • colespointmarina.com/shark-tooth-island/
Preceded by
Wallops Island
Beaches of Delmarva Succeeded by
Southernmost point