An island on the brink

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Science  17 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6403, pp. 653
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau3895

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Tangier Island, located in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, is one of the mainstays of the region's blue crab fishery. No location on the small island is more than 5 feet above sea level, and two-thirds of its land mass has been lost since 1850. Much of its upland is being converted to tidal marsh as sea-level rise accelerates while the land subsides at one of the highest rates in the mid-Atlantic region. In Chesapeake Requiem, Earl Swift warns that the very waters on which Tangier Islanders depend now threaten the community's future. This book is a chronicle about the lives of Tangier Islanders and about their history, culture, and beliefs, set within the context of what is known about the likely fate of this vulnerable, isolated island.