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Rising Above


The National Park Service, in its official description of Tangier Island, calls it “little more than a sandbar, barely rising above the raging waters of the Chesapeake Bay.”

Despite this, there is a multimillion dollar effort underway to improve the deteriorating situation on the island. Recreational boaters have considered the island a charming place to visit for many years. This year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend $300,000 on an analysis and engineering study to determine exactly what it needs to construct. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend another $300,000 this year on an engineering and analysis study to determine what it needs to build.

The goal is? The goal? To protect at least a part of an area that has lost two-thirds its landmass in the last century. Some studies estimate that what’s left of Tangier Island is on track to become uninhabitable wetlands around 2050. This project would protect part of it—specifically, the part that is used by boats.

“One of our main priority areas is maintaining navigation,” says Keith Lockwood, chief of the water resources division of the Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “It’s a…

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