Small Va. island disappearing into the Chesapeake Bay

Researchers climate change it's one of the reasons a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay is getting smaller. Tangier Island is turning to Pres. Trump for help.

TANGIER ISLAND, VA (WUSA9) - Tangier Island is a small piece of land in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. It rises only a few feet above the surrounding water. Now, the island’s 500 residents are calling on Pres. Trump to keep the bay—at bay.

Researchers say Tangier is disappearing into the Chesapeake due to wave-induced erosion.

Since 1850, more than 66 percent of the island has crumbled away. Researchers believe residents will have to evacuate by 2037, and in 1,000 years, Tangier will be completely covered by water.

Years ago, there used to be hundreds of small islands surrounding Tangier, but they’ve vanished over time. Now, Tangier’s mayor is hoping Pres. Trump can avoid the same fate for this island.

He wants a wall.

Mayor James Eskridge said he has talked with the president about their water woes.

“We had been discussin' sea level rise. And he said, ‘Tangier's been here for hundreds of years and it'll be here for hundreds more,’" Mayor Eskridge recalled.

Now, he’s hoping Pres. Trump will encourage Congress to support the effort.

The wall would keep waves from further eroding the island, but it comes at a cost—between $20 million and $30 million.

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Eskridge said his community needs help immediately, whether you believe in climate change or not.

"If we get a severe Nor'easter or something, you can make a mark where the shoreline is, and after the storm, you go out there and the mark is well off shore," Eskridge explained.

About 87 percent of the island's residents voted for Pres. Trump. They’re now hoping he’ll fight for them.

Mayor Eskridge said Tangier has been studied before, but the island is at the point where it needs help now.

"We've been studied. And now we're to the point, the island's going down. We just need the help to come now," Eskridge said.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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