is a lagoon
between Assateague Island
and the mainlands of Worcester County, Maryland
and northern Accomack County, Virginia
. At its northern end, it becomes Sinepuxent Bay
; its southern end drains into the Atlantic Ocean
via Chincoteague Inlet
. No major river flows into Chincoteague Bay--its largest tributaries are Newport Creek in Worcester County and Swans Gut Creek in Accomack County.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chincoteague Bay was well-known for its shellfish industry, which shipped oysters, crabs, and clams to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Unfortunately, overfishing depleted shellfish stocks, which have still not recovered. The bay is an important stop on the Atlantic Flyway.