Visitor Information

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Eastern Shore Laboratory (ESL) in Wachapreague, VA, serves both as a field station for research and teaching and as a site for resident research programs in coastal ecology and aquaculture. 

Our Administration Building provides office space for staff and a check-in area for guests.

Seaside Hall features a taxonomy laboratory, small analytical laboratory, and a general-use room that serves as a library, conference room, or classroom.

The Seawater Laboratory features a large teaching laboratory as well as a flexible wet laboratory, designed to hold marine organisms and provide space for conducting research, both indoors and outside. 

The Castagna Shellfish Research Hatchery also features a flexible design with an assortment of tanks and the ability to culture bivalve larvae and micro-algae with various temperature, salinity, and filtration parameters. 

Additional buildings on campus support the housing and research needs of our guests and staff.


The Eastern Shore Laboratory maintains a fleet of vessels for the support of research and educational activities. The ESL uses small, shallow-draft vessels that provide access to shallow-water habitats along the seaside and bayside of the Eastern Shore.


Lodging for 42 visiting users is available at the Eastern Shore Lab. Kitchen, dining and laundry facilities are available for use by guests in each of the four buildings.

Seaside Hall

Our campus includes an Administration Building, Seaside Hall, Seawater Laboratory, Castagna Shellfish Research Hatchery, Aquaculture Shop and four dormitories.

Seawater Facilities

The ESL seawater systems are designed to accommodate multiple research and educational requests with point-of-use flexibility.

Safety Information

Our goal is to promote environmental stewardship, protect health, and ensure safe working practices within the ESL community.