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Tiny U.S. Island is Drowning. Residents Deny the Reason
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9/10/2018 at 2:43:24 PM GMT
Posts: 115
Tiny U.S. Island is Drowning. Residents Deny the Reason

Interview with Earl Swift by Simon Worrall —

You say Tangier Island is ‘a community unlike any in America.’ Put it on the map for us; explain what is so special about it.

Tangier Island is a squiggle of mud and marsh in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, which is about 30 miles wide at that point, and a dozen miles from the nearest mainland port, Crisfield, Maryland. It is home to roughly 460 people, all of them descended from the first settler on the island, a guy named Joseph Crocket, who moved there in 1778. Though it’s only 100 miles from Washington, D.C., it’s among the most isolated communities in the East. The island’s isolation has spawned a style of speech that you’ll not hear anywhere else in America.

Rising sea levels may make the island uninhabitable in 50 years. Yet the islanders think global warming is a hoax. How do they square those two things?

I don’t think the islanders find the rising water around them to be a hoax. They can see it happening with their own eyes. But they believe that simple erosion, caused by wind-driven waves, has been the cause of the island’s shrinkage, which has lost an average of 8 acres per year since 1850.


To continue reading, visit the full interview on National Geographic’s website.

Worrall, Simon. “Tiny U.S. Island is Drowning. Residents Deny the Reason.” National Geographic. (September 7, 2018). <>

Last edited Monday, September 10, 2018

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