Seaside ecotours
Courtesy of Captain Meriwether Payne

Exploring Environmental Law Issues at Virginia's Eastern Shore

July 19, 2019 | Quick Takes

The Virginia Eastern Shore is the last undeveloped 100 mile of barrier islands designated as an International Biosphere by the United Nations. These islands are owned by both public and private agencies such as The Nature Conservancy, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and even NASA. Anxious to learn more about this intriguing stretch of waterfront property just around the bend from our Virginia Beach office, on June 14, 2019, we took a tour. Captain Meriwether Payne of Seaside Ecotours took our Waterfront Law team at Pender & Coward out on the water to see Dawson Shoals and barrier islands such as Cedar and Paramour off Virginia’s Atlantic Coast. We learned more about oyster farming and other environmental issues facing Virginia’s Eastern Shore and enjoyed a beautiful day on the water surrounded by a diverse seabird population of Oyster Catchers, Whimbrels, Least Terns, Common Terns, Skimmers, Gull-billed Terns and the ubiquitous Laughing Gulls. As we travelled under the watchful eyes of Bald Eagles, Captain Payne regaled us with tales of manta rays, whales, her deep sea fishing excursions, and rocket launches from Wallops Island. She expertly navigated our crew through the winding channels and shifting shoals of the salt marshes and bays off Wachapreague, Virginia.

Tom and Bryan Pender & Coward Attorneys

courtesy of Riparian Property Rights Attorney Jeff Wilson

About The Author

Tom head shot

An experienced advocate for waterfront businesses, Tom has represented clients throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and along the coasts of rivers, sounds, and bays of Virginia and Northeast North Carolina for decades on a variety of maritime and employment issues. Reach him at (m) 757-572-2657.