Assateague Island is flat and low, with a memorable landscape of pine woods, marshes, and sand, partially shaped by man, in that a settlement of nearly 200 people and their livestock lived here until the 1920s. It is the outermost part of the better-known Chincoteague barrier island chain popularized by Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague (1947) and the later film (1960). The island as a whole is a wildlife refuge and a National Seashore operated by the commonwealth of Virginia and the National Park Service.
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