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Contact: Rachelle Daigneault, 410-629-6088
Berlin, Maryland - Like many coastal areas, Assateague Island was a military test range in World War II. Late Monday afternoon, a discovery made by a visitor taking a stroll on the beach came to the attention of Park Rangers who quickly identified the item as debris from these tests. Following park protocol, the local Ocean City Bomb Squad was called in to investigate and make an assessment of conditions. Examination of the site where the debris was found revealed an extensive cache of World War II military ordnance. Assessment proved that the cache was outside their capabilities. The Emergency Ordnance Disposal team from Aberdeen, Maryland was called in at this time. Further evaluation revealed more than 100 pieces of debris and unexploded ordnance. The items were assembled in two prepared sites for controlled detonation between 11 a.m. and noon. Access to the national seashore was closed during this time and beaches in proximity to the North Ocean Beach area were evacuated for the duration of the event. An additional detonation was scheduled for early evening and proceeded without incident. Officials at Assateague Island National Seashore, in consultation with the Department of Army will seek further assessment from the Army Corps of Engineers.
All measures are being taken to ensure the public remain informed about access and closures. Visitor safety remains our top priority. The national seashore is presently open to the public. Parking is limited at North Ocean Beach and all other lots are open. Visitors with questions should call 410-641-1441 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For more information on Assateague Island National Seashore, visit www.nps.gov/asis/.