‘I’ll Never Leave This Place, And I Hope This Place Will Never Leave Me’

"Even though repeated promises of a seawall have failed to materialize, teen and Tangier’s other residents refuse to give up hope"

"Like most high school seniors, Cameron Evans is at the edge of change. He’s anxious about whether to major in photography or politics, annoyed about having to go to the dentist, animated when talking about the Yankees, his favorite team.

But most seniors don’t worry if they’ll be able to go home after leaving for college; or if they’ll have a home at all after the next hurricane. Evans does; he lives on Tangier Island, or what’s left of it, in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.

With no organized after-school sports to play at the Virginia island’s small combined school, and no girls to date because he’s known them all since kindergarten, Evans heads out most afternoons in a small skiff toward what remains of the Uppards, part of the Tangier settlement that was abandoned in the 1920s. ...

Tangier and its surrounding archipelago of islands are washing away at a rate of 15 feet a year. In what Evans calls his “small lifetime,” he has seen more than 40 feet of high ground wash away on the Uppards alone. Along with that, the islanders have lost hunting trailers, possessions and even the buried skulls and bones of those who once made their home here."

Rona Kobell reports for the Bay Journal November 29, 2017.

Source: Bay Journal, 11/30/2017