In one respect, Tangier Island, Va.’s situation has been the same for centuries: Its shorelines are still eroding into the Chesapeake Bay. Since 1850, its land mass has dropped by two-thirds, now measuring roughly 1.2 sq miles, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates.
But the Corps has concerns beyond erosion. With a maximum elevation of roughly 4 ft, even slight rises in sea level could threaten the community of 460 residents. Recent modeling by the Corps suggests Tangier could be uninhabitable within 25 to 50 years.