Federal, state and local officials meet at Tangier to discuss Island’s erosion issues

June 6, 2024

Seeking solutions for Tangier Island, federal, state, and local officials met on Tangier Island on May 30 with Tangier community leaders.

The officials visited sites by boat where land is being lost, followed by a discussion that explored challenges and solutions for the island. Tangier Island has lost about two-thirds of its land since the 1850s, and certain research predicts that much of the rest of the island could be lost within 50 years.  

At this meeting, partners discussed working with the Tangier community to develop a state-certified resilience plan for the Tangier Island system, including neighboring Port Isobel Island. The plan would help the community secure funding and implement projects to protect this unique place.

The Tangier visit included representatives from Tangier, the Virginia state government, the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, and academic institutions and nonprofit organizations. 

“I’m very encouraged,” Tangier Mayor James Eskridge said following the meeting. “To accomplish something, it’s vital to get different groups working together on the same page.” 

Next steps for the future of Tangier could encompass the following:  

·       Working with the Tangier community to develop a certified resilience plan; 

·       Identifying federal, state and private funding opportunities for projects to protect the island; 

·       Investing in an engineering study for mitigation and resiliency strategies for Tangier Island; 

·       Beginning implementation while community infrastructure on Tangier can still be saved; 

·       Assessing the viability of using beneficial dredge spoils to protect the island; 

·       Including nature-based coastal adaptation strategies, including living shorelines of marsh grasses and oysters that protect shorelines from erosion while creating wildlife habitat and reducing pollution; 

Buchanan Subaru

·       Sharing strategies and outcomes with other coastal communities throughout the watershed and across the country.


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