Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel - More Than Meets the Eye
Ah, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel - the lovely stretch of concrete that connects us to our neighbors on the Eastern Shore. For most of us, these 17+ miles are nothing more than a means to an end; something we begrudgingly pay our $12 to cross in hopes of making travel to northern destinations more direct and perhaps a little more scenic. And besides occasionally stopping for our free Dr. Pepper after the first stretch, most of us probably speed over the water merely catching quick glimpses of wind surfing gulls and container ships on the horizon, never stopping to think what may lie beneath.
Upon further inspection, you will find that the world's largest bridge-tunnel complex includes four man-made islands that not only provide structural support, but also unique habitat to many species of animals. The Chesapeake Bay is part of the Atlantic flyway that is utilized by many migrating species of birds; add our relatively mild winter weather and the inaccessibility of many predators to the islands, and you've got ideal spots for these birds (and occasionally harbor seals!) to rest.
Unfortunately, due to security reasons, these bird "hotspots" are not usually open to the public. However, as a participant on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Excursion during our Winter Wildlife Festival, you will be allowed guided access to these areas in hopes of viewing such species as northern gannets, king eiders, harlequin ducks and perhaps even the rare black-tailed gull. Who knows, you might even get to experience the presence of the whales also wintering in our area!
Make sure to sign up for this unique opportunity before it's too late! Visit VBgov.com/WinterWildlife for more information!
Are You Registered for the Winter Wildlife Festival?
Spaces are filling quickly for the Winter Wildlife Festival on January 28-30, 2011 and we don't want you to miss out on the chance to witness winter wildlife all around Virginia Beach! This event includes educational workshops and engaging excursions - many of which are free! Registration is required to attend workshops and excursions (some require a fee), so sign up today!
Be sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center, 1400 Nimmo Parkway, and speak with our Winter Wildlife Festival partners. You'll also learn ways to get involved with local efforts and see what conservation groups and businesses are doing. Children's activities available too!
Visit VBgov.com/WinterWildlife for a full list of excursions and educational sessions along with registration information.