The federal government has given the green light for the comprehensive conservation plan for Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the 15 year plan was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The paper reports that the current recreational beach area will be moved north and shortened to one mile.

In addition, there will be a new parking lot that will be protected by dunes.

creative commons

Local Chincoteague officials are expressing concerns over the new beach plans for Assateague Island.

The plans for the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge produced by federal officials would move Assateague’s recreational beach to the north.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that former Chincoteague Planning Director William Neville told local town officials that there are concerns about the resiliency.

Neville is moving on to take a job with Ocean City.

Deb Noll /

Authorities are now looking for a white, full-size, dual-axle pickup truck with a white horse trailer in the search for Dreamer’s Faith a foal that was taken from a Chincoteague corral two weeks ago.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that police say two men were seen trying to catch a foal.

In addition, the paper reports that authorities want to talk with a person in a white, single-seat electric car who might have details about the theft.

creative commons

The auction is over for this year’s 90th annual Pony Swim.

A foal sired by the late Surfer Dude brought in $25-thousand and was bought by the Chincoteague Legacy Group made up of 400 donors.

The Facebook group’s bid was the highest for a foal that is being returned to the Assateague Island for another year.

There were 61 foals sold bringing nearly $170-thousand.

That money will go the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company which takes care of the ponies.

File Photo - Creative Commons

Thousands watched as around 150 ponies crossed the channel from Assateague Island to Chincoteague herded by the famed Saltwater Cowboys in the 90th annual Pony Swim.

The first ashore took the title of King Neptune and will up for a raffle.

Tomorrow at 8 a.m. there will be an auction for the foals.

The proceeds will go to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

Those ponies that are not sold will be returned to roam free along with others who can be donated back to the park.

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - An Eastern Shore tradition celebrated by Marguerite Henry's book "Misty of Chincoteague" is marking its 90th year.

The highlight of the week is this morning's annual swim of the tough little ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. A group of volunteers called the "Saltwater Cowboys" rounds up the ponies and leads them through the passage at slack tide.

An auction of a portion of the herd benefits the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.

Misty of Chincoteague Book Cover

They’re gathering in Chincoteague for the 90th Annual Pony Swim.

Saltwater Cowboys are expected to drive around 150 ponies across the channel from Assateague Island sometime between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.

After the swim and a 45 minute pause for the ponies they will be herded to Main Street for a parade.

On Thursday they will be up for auction with proceeds going to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.

The event was made famous in the 1947 novel “Misty of Chincoteague” by Marguerite Henry.


Accomack County officials want Virginia transportation officials to put up a sign with a minimum speed for the Chincoteague causeway.

Supervisor Wanda Thornton whose district covers the highway wants the minimum speed of 45 mph for the road that goes to Chincoteague Island.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Thornton said the problem was that there are people using mopeds who are traveling much slower than that.

The Accomack County Board approved a resolution making the request to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

creative commons

Three people were killed in a single vehicle accident in Worcester County last night.

The Maryland State Police say it occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Route 12 at Onley Road.

WBOC reports that an Acura TL drove off the side of the road while heading northbound on Route 12.

The state troopers report that the car hit several trees before stopping and catching on fire.

It killed the driver 25 year old Nicole Earnest as well as the two passengers 22 year old Amanda Phillips and 45 year old Sean Mobley.

They were all from Chincoteague.

creative commons

ASSATEAGUE, Va. (AP) - A 16-foot-long, 3,456-pound great white shark named Mary Lee has emitted a signal, or "pinged" of the Virginia-Maryland coast.

Multiple news outlets report the shark, which is being tracked by OCEARCH, pinged off Assateague Island around 5:20 a.m. Tuesday and again in or near Chincoteague Bay at 8:12 a.m.

OCEARCH is a non-profit group that researches great white sharks and other large predators. The group has been tracking Mary Lee since September 2012.

creative commons

The huge Viking statue that looked out over Chincoteague Pony Swim Lane is no more.

It had stood for three decades.

But it came down with the sale of the land it once sat on.

It stood 23-feet tall and was made out of fiberglass.

The statue had recently been recently restored after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

There is no word on the fate of the statue.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the new owner is said to not want the Viking or any of the other things that were on the property.

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a pilot who lost consciousness and crashed a small airplane into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia shore.

Petty Officer Nate Littlejohn says the search was halted Sunday morning after a civilian boater recovered a wheel and engine cowling from the single-engine Cirrus. Littlejohn says the chances of finding anything else were slim.

Tom Hunt

More than 50 ponies were auctioned off at the 89th annual Pony Penning in Chincoteague yesterday with a record bid.

Catherine Miller of Illinois set the record with her bid of $21-thousand for a black and white filly.

WMDT reports that Deborah Davis bought one for $26-hundred.

Some of the highest bids went for ponies who will return to Assateague.

Another pony auction was the Feather Fund.

The non-profit helped give around 30 ponies to deserving children around the county.

The 89th annual Pony Swim at Chincoteague gets underway today with the Saltwater Cowboys saddling up to take the herd of around 100 across the channel from Assateague Island.

The event is expected to attract some 40-thousand visitors and the swim is set to occur sometime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The town has been preparing for weeks for an event that a number of businesses see as better than Memorial Day Weekend.

The ponies will be auctioned off tomorrow with the proceeds going to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company which owns and takes care of the ponies.

book cover

In Chincoteague they’re gearing up for the annual pony swim.

Yesterday, the Saltwater Cowboys paraded the northern herd of the ponies down the beach on Assateague Island.

Visitors from across the nation and abroad will be attending the annual pony swim to witness the herd crossing the Assateague Channel tomorrow.

On Thursday, the foals will be sold at auction with the proceeds going to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company which owns and maintains the herd.

The swim was made famous by the 1947 novel Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.

Tropical Storm Arthur has become a hurricane and is threatening to take a glancing blow at the Carolina coast on Independence Day.

And here on Delmarva officials are bracing for wet weather but are optimistic.

In Ocean City officials are delaying the July 4th fireworks and festivities for Saturday.

Mayor Rick Meehan says the wet weather into Friday morning will not allow enough time to set up the fireworks display for tomorrow night.
Officials still expect near capacity crowds over the weekend with $50 being charged for all day Saturday at the Inlet Parking.

Christopher Evanson / US Coast Guard Gallery

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - Chincoteague firefighters known as saltwater cowboys will oversee the annual pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague in Virginia on July 30.

The event is preceded by a carnival, which began Friday and continues on several dates in July and early August.

Each year the wild ponies are auctioned to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd. This year's auction is July 31. 

crative commons wikimedia

The ponies made it across the channel yesterday from the Assateague Island to Chincoteague amidst stormy weather.

The thunderstorm came around 11 am drenching thousands of onlookers…that showed up for the 88th annual Pony Swim and parade.

The Saltwater Cowboys herded around 150 ponies making the crossing in around 5 minutes.

Kendy Allen with the Chincoteague Pony Center says , the ponies do not have to swim much and figures the distance they have to cross less than a quarter of a mile andis not that deep.

Assateague State Park

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - Tens of thousands of visitors descended Chincoteague where dozens of ponies made their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague.

It’s the 88th edition of the spectacle celebrated by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague".

The so-called Saltwater Cowboys have rounded up approximately 150 ponies that live on Assateague for the swim. After the swim, the ponies are rested before they're paraded down Main Street.

The Ponies made the swim and now they’re up for auction.

At about 9 am yesterday around 140 wild ponies were led across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island by the Saltwater Cowboys as thousands looked on for the annual event.

The crossing lasted a little more than 6 minutes.

Many visitors fell in love with the ponies as a result of Marguerite Henry’s famous book “Misty of Chincoteague “.

And they came from as far away as Cleveland.

Tens of thousands of spectators showed up this morning as the Saltwater Cowboys herded their ponies across the Assateague Channel for the 87th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.

The 10-minute swim across the 200-yeard Assateague channel dates from the early 1920's.

It was made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague".

Tomorrow, the ponies will be auctioned off to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd.

Thousands are out this morning for the 87th Chincoteague Island Pony swim with the Saltwater Cowboys at hand to herd the wild ponies across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island.

The crossing was set to begin by 10:00 am during slack tide.

Tomorrow the ponies will be auctions off with the proceeds going to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.  

It’s Pony Penning time.

This is the eve of the 87th Chincoteague Island Pony Swim that is held on the last Wednesday before the last Thursday every July.

Saltwater Cowboys herd the wild ponies on Assateague Island across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island.

They will swim across the Assateague Channel south of Memorial Park.

The ponies are scheduled to cross during the slack tide between 7:30 am and 10 am.

Parking is available at Chincoteague Combined School on Chincoteague Island.

The annual Pony Swim to Chincoteague Island has made it on the top 10 list as a favorite event for traveling families in Virginia.

Coming in at 8th the Salisbury Daily Times reports that it beat out visits to the Historic Jamestown Settlement and Colonial Williamsburg.

Assateague Island’s recreational beach and light house as well as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge made mention.

On the last Wednesday of July the Saltwater cowboys drive the ponies into the Assateague channel on their way to Chincoteague.


             The decision by the Accomack County Board of Supervisors to impose a fire and emergency medical services tax on Chincoteague is getting some fierce blowback.

            By late last week more than 100 people had indicated their disapproval of the measure…through a new Facebook page called Save the Chincoteague Taxpayer.

            And the Salisbury Daily Times reports that there is talk among Chincoteague residents to withhold payment of county real estate and personal property taxes in June…to protest the action.