Partial Closure at Maryland part of Assateague Island National Seashore


Portion of beach closed where munitions debris has been found at Assateague Island National Seashore / Photo courtesy NPS

The National Park Service has partially closed a portion of the North Beach Swimming area which is usually guarded at the Maryland part of Assateague Island National Seashore after pieces of military munitions debris has been found on the beach over the last two weeks. Officials say 7 pieces of munitions debris have been found so far. While just fragments – the pieces may contain residue of explosives or propellant and are considered dangerous.

During the 1940s, the US Navy used this area of Assateague Island as a test range for rockets and bombs. In the 1950s a clean up was done, and munitions debris was buried in pits on the island. Due to the natural movement of the island and seas level rise, some of these pits are now offshore. It is likely that the large Nor’easter in May disturbed the nearshore seafloor and uncovered one of these pits. This has resulted in pieces of ordinance coming ashore.

The Ocean City Bomb Squad and Dover Air Force Base EOD team have been assisting the park. However if you find a piece of unidentified metal on the beach – DO NOT TOUCH IT – Do notify park staff.

Areas of beach, the Beach Hut and parking lot are still open.

Click here for more information on the partial closure


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