Tangier Residents Respond to Report on Sea Level Rise Effects - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Tangier Residents Respond to Report on Sea Level Rise Effects

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Richard Laird has lived in Tangier island for 45 years. He said no matter what, he's not leaving his home. (Photo: WBOC) Richard Laird has lived in Tangier island for 45 years. He said no matter what, he's not leaving his home. (Photo: WBOC)

TANGIER ISLAND, Va - As first reported by WBOC on Thursday morning, a new report paints an ominous picture for one of Delmarva's most well-known islands. The report, created by a group of scientists from the Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk Division, said Tangier Island is likely to be uninhabitable in 50 years. As the data starts to pour in to the island located in the Chesapeake Bay, residents are now responding. 

"It means a lot," said Richard Laird, from Tangier Island. "I mean, my mom and dad, and grandparents are all from there. It means the world to me is what it means."

Laird said he has lived on the island for 45 years. He said he was saddened by the report, which called Tangier Island "ground zero" for climate change. 

"We better hurry up and get a sea wall there quick," he said. "Because we're losing a load of footage every year. We need to hurry up at the state [level] and get us a dang-on jetty put there quick all around us." 

Tangier Island is currently home to just under 750 people, according to the 2010 census. The report was compiled by David M. Schulte, Karin M. Dridge, and Mark H. Hudgins, all of whom are from the Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk Division. The authors said the island will likely be uninhabitable in 50 years, although they wrote that it could be as soon as 25 years. 

The report stated that the construction of breakwaters, and other measures, could help extend the lifespan of Tangier Island by about 50 years, at a cost of approximately $30 million. Laird said he was hopeful these actions would be taken. Regardless of what happens, Laird said he would not leave his home. 

"I'm good right there where I'm at," he said. "All I know is working on the water. And I'm satisfied." 

Tangier island has already lost approximately two-thirds of its landmass since 1850, according to the report. For more on this topic read WBOC's full story here

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