Virginia (slider image)
The Virginia site is located in the Goodwin Islands National Estuarine Research Reserve, at the mouth of the York River in Chesapeake Bay (37 o 13’ N, 76o 23’ W). Situated in the USA’s largest estuary, Goodwin Islands is a 3.15 km2 hectare archipelago of salt-marsh islands surrounded by a diverse array of habitats including seagrass beds, oyster reefs, tidal wetlands, mudflats and sandy shoals. Primary habitats at this site include intertidal flats and subtidal seagrass beds (Zostera marina and Ruppia maritima). The surrounding salt marsh vegetation is dominated by cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and salt meadow hay (Spartina patens). Although this area is closed to development and destructive use, it remains open to commercial and recreational fishing.