Friends of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

  • Donated over $100,000.00 to the construction of the Herbert H. Bateman Center
  • Funded many of the exhibits in the Center
  • Contributed over $200,000.00 to restoration of the Assateague Lighthouse
  • Sponsors refuge special events such as IMBC and Refuge Week Celebration
  • Funds volunteer and intern support, and special refuge projects such as the live eagle cam

All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: that the individual is a member of a community of interdependent parts. The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants and animals, or collectively the land.
— Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic, 1949

The Chincoteague Natural History Association (CNHA) is a non-profit, cooperating association established in partnership with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The CNHA was established as a Friends Group to promote a better understanding and appreciation of the Chincoteague refuge, the Eastern Shore of Virginia refuge, and the natural history and environment of Virginia's Eastern Shore in general.  The CNHA produces and provides interpretive and educational material for refuge visitors.  Proceeds from memberships and items sold in the gift shops are used to support and enhance interpretive programs, projects, and activities at both of the refuges.

CNHA helps both the Chincoteague and Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuges in many ways.  We provide new and revised environmental education material, exhibits, and signs; fund student interns to assist with environmental education and interpretive programs; and have sponsored workshops .  By having developed and printed teachers' manuals and by funding teacher workshops, we encourage teachers to use refuge resources as part of their science and environmental education curriculum.

We've also supported the production of trail guides, the development of posters featuring threatened and endangered species of the refuges, and the construction of bins to collect and separate recyclable trash left by refuge visitors.  CNHA support also enables the refuges to receive matching grants that allow continuing intern, teacher workshop, Junior Refuge Manager, and Junior Birder programs.  CNHA conducts programs and develops exhibits concerning wildlife and habitat protection, and hosts activities for special events such as International Migratory Bird Day


We Are Chincoteague Natural History Association

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life - Rachel Carson

To be a part of saving this great earth is an inexpressible privilege. Together we can turn back the destruction that we've done, unknowing, and at least set the course toward greener fields, bluer skies, clean water and a richer browner land. While we all do some little things - and some great - to help remedy our dilemma, I'm asking you to do one more thing. Join the Chincoteague Natural History Association. It will take just a few minutes and fifteen dollars. Thank you.

Membership in the Chincoteague Natural History Association entitles you to the following benefits:

  • Subscription to The Piping Plover, our quarterly newsletter
  • 10% Discount on purchases from the CNHA sales outlets or mail order as well as purchases at all other refuges on the Delmarva peninsula
  • Seasonal discount on adult tickets for wildlife tour bus
  • CNHA sew-on patch for memberships of $25 or more
  • Participation in activities specifically planned for CNHA members
  • Voting privileges at the Annual Meeting with CNHA and refuge management
  • Please note that 100% of all dues and contributions to the CNHA are tax deductible

Board and Staff

Chincoteague Natural History Association Board

George Hunkovic, President
Claire Hunkins, Vice President
Carole Barkley, Treasurer
Janice MacKinnon, Secretary
Barbara Thackray   
Sue Hunkovic  
Bill Kennedy
Marline Kennedy
Harold Laskowski
Joan Palmer
Steve Parker

Chincoteague Natural History Association Staff

Beth Hanback, Executive Director
Ruth Reid
Peter Pulman
Donna Romines
Frank Giglio
Bob Beckwith
Lois Helfin
Chuck Parvis
Guy Dedell

Chincoteague Natural History Association Wildlife Trek Drivers

George Hunkovic
Matt O'Neill
Roy Sheperd