April 6, 2022
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Tangier Harbor

Pictured: The Tangier Island Harbor, courtesy of James Eskridge.

Historically low tides have interfered with the dredging of Tangier’s Channel.

Tangier Mayor James ‘Ooker’ Eskridge said the Army Corps of Engineers has had to delay the project.

“The Army Corps of Engineers were in here two weeks ago maybe, and they couldn’t even maneuver the dredge,” he said. “They didn’t have enough water to do what they needed to do.”

The low tides have also exposed some historic parts of Tangier that have been lost to erosion.

“I know one guy, he went up to one of the communities on the Uppards that had went underwater years back and the tide was so low he was able to walk out quite a distance from the original shore line,” Mayor Eskridge added. “He gathered up all these bottles and clay jugs and a whole host of things that normally he wouldn’t have been able to find. The water was out so far, he was able to go out a good distance.”

The Uppards refers to all the land north of Tangier’s channel. Several communities once existed on the northern marsh of this section of the island, but they were abandoned in the early 1900s.

The historically low tides come on the heels of historically high tides on the island this past fall, when hard west winds and above normal sea levels flooded the most inward parts of Tangier Island.

Coldwell Banker Harbour Realty

Elsewhere in the Bay, another attempt at freeing the cargo ship Ever Forward, currently stuck in the shipping channel to Baltimore just north of the Bay Bridge, failed last week, despite tides being a foot higher than expected.

Evergreen Marine, the owner of the massive container ship, has declared “General Average” on the ship after multiple unsuccessful re-floating attempts. General Average requires all parties, including the shipowner and cargo owners, to bear some responsibility in the re-floating process.

Concerns are mounting the ship, buried in 20 feet of mud, could be experiencing stress on the hull due to the weight of containers and may lead to a fuel leak disaster. 

“I don’t know what’s going on,” he said, adding with a laugh, “but you don’t usually hear news stories about low tides.”

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