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Seabird Conservation in Hampton Roads

In 2017, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) initiated its single largest construction project ever — expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. While this critical infrastructure is vital to the movement of people, goods and services into and out of the Tidewater region, one of the anchoring islands had come to support Virginia’s largest colony of seabirds. In a groundbreaking conservation success story, the DWR and partners have been able to provide alternative nesting habitat to the thousands of birds that were displaced by this construction and remain committed to providing nesting habitat for the colony in the years to come.

History of Seabird Conservation at Hampton Roads

Today, the HRBT complex supports the largest breeding seabird colony in all of Virginia. But did you know that the history of seabird conservation at this site actually dates back to the early 1980s?

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What are Seabirds?

Nine species of seabirds breed in Virginia, including several species of terns and gulls, black skimmers, brown pelicans and double-crested cormorants.

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What is DWR’s Role?

DWR is working to provide temporary habitat for the displaced seabirds as well as a permanent solution for the colony’s future.

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We couldn’t accomplish this massive endeavor alone! A wide array of partners have come together to provide this new nesting solution for the HRBT seabird colony.

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How to View the HRBT Seabird Colonies

Even though the HRBT embayment is closed to the public, there are other ways to view these birds.

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Report a Banded Seabird

Have you seen a banded seabird? Help us with data collection by reporting that observation.

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