JULY MARY ELLEN MARK Beach at Cape Charles, Virginia
Eastern Shore, Virginia
The barrier islands and salt marshes of the Virginia Eastern Shore comprise the East Coast's last great coastal wilderness, a 100‑mile‑long respite from oceanside development between Maine and Florida. Here rare and endangered shorebirds such as least terns find haven to nest in the dunes. By working with local communities, The Nature Conservancy is able to protect this landscape and sustain a way of life that has known fishing and farming for many generations. One Conservancy program brings mainland families to the barrier islands to reconnect them with this place where ecological and economic recovery are intimately linked.