Virginia Coast

The Virginia Eastern Shore region, situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, represents a tiny portion of Virginia’s population and stretches for only 70 miles. A network of barrier islands and tidal marshes protect the Atlantic coastline. Various wildlife reserves, including the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, are located in this region and enable continued coastal science research. Unlike the Eastern Shore, the mainland Virginia coast at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay is densely populated and contributes a large portion of the state’s ocean economy. With several major shipyards, Virginia alone accounts for over a quarter of US shipbuilding jobs. The counties of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Hampton contribute over $3 billion in GDP annually.

Featured Virginia Coast Data Tools

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MARACOOS OceansMap Chesapeake Bay Portal

MARACOOS OceansMap is a dynamic data visualization tool integrating near real-time observational assets and model forecasts that contribute to ocean monitoring in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal

Browse over 4,000 maps showing fishing grounds, marine life habitats and much more. Managed by   MARCO.

Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System (VECOS) – VIMS

The Virginia Estuarine and Coastal Observing System (VECOS) is a website designed to distribute water quality data sampled from the Chesapeake Bay and associated tributaries within Virginia.


The Tidewatch network provides an effective way to measure, visualize, and predict the magnitude and impacts of coastal flooding at locations within Chesapeake Bay and along Virginia’s seaside Eastern Shore. Use Tidewatch charts to better prepare for storm tides and minimize their potential impacts.

Old Dominion University Surface Current Mapping

Surface Current mapping sponsored by MARACOOS but based out of Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University.

Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System (CBOFS)

As a product of NOAA CO-OPS CBOFS provides water level nowcast and forecast guidance, as well as currents, water temperature and salinity and interpolated winds from National Weather Service products. CBOFS runs four times per day and generates 6-hour nowcasts and 48-hour forecast guidance.