More on our trip to Tangier Island, Virginia, 6/17-19. In our previous post, we described Tangier as shrinking. Well, the better word is “sinking.” In an odd we-were-just-there coincidence, the New York Times on 7/10/16 published a fascinating article about Tangier’s predicament, which according to David Schulte, marine biologist with the US Army Corps of Engineers, is this: The island may have only 50 years left, and its residents are likely to become some of the first climate-change refugees in the United States.
Tangier has lost two thirds of its landmass since 1850. And it’s not alone: Over the past four centuries, more than 500 islands have disappeared from the [Chesapeake] bay, about 40 of them once inhabited. Most of Tangier Island, which consists of several long sandy ridges connected by footbridges and amounts to a little over a square mile, is approximately four or five feet above sea level.
Yet, there remains this beautiful fact: The low elevations and the quiet, bird-filled wetlands and tidal creeks produce a sense of living with the water, rather than beside it. (Click for video.)