Tangier Island to get new jetty

Posted at 7:17 PM, Nov 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-16 19:17:44-05

Folks on Tangier Island may be getting some relief from erosion.

Yesterday we showed you how Hurricane Sandy's wind and waves uncovered bodies buried a century ago on the Chesapeake Bay Island.

Read the story here: Hurricane Sandy raises the dead on Tangier Island

Now the island is getting a new jetty that will only fix part of the problem.

In the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island is barely a speck. When Hurricane Sandy rolled through, it put the entire island briefly under water. The tide crashed crab shanties in the harbor.

Hurricane Sandy was so erosive it dug up graves from the 1800s. It was yet another alarm to the islanders who know their home is slowly disappearing.  But next week, they're getting help. A jetty to protect the exposed western harbor, first planned almost 20 years ago, will finally get the go-ahead. Completing it will take three or four years.

Tangiermen like Carol Moore are thankful for the promise of a new jetty, but she says the entire island needs a protective barrier.

“Without one, Tangier is going to become history,” says Moore.

The jetty will cost millions. Some say it’s a lifesaver for the watermen there. But others say it’s folly to think anyone can hold back nature. So why not give up and move off the island? Carol says many have. But for her, and Tangiermen like her, it's a home they can't leave.

“I`m seventh generation Tangierman. This is my home and my heritage. You just can`t walk away from where you live, where you are from, and where your roots are,” says Moore.