Life in Chesapeake Bay’s Tangier Island

Speaker: Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

In the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, just south of the Maryland line, lies Tangier Island, VA. It can only be reached by boat/ferry or small plane. Golf carts and bicycles replace cars as the primary mode of transportation. This is a unique and charming community of shop owners and waterman, with many inhabitants making their living on the water as did their ancestors, oystering and crabbing. Recently, Tangier Island—which is actually a series of small islands connected by narrow wooden bridges spanning marshes and tidal creeks—has been the focus of news stories as a likely casualty of sea level rise caused by climate change; each year, flooding becomes more frequent and erosion increases. Irene’s visual exploration of life on Tangier—the waterman and the wildlife that inhabit its marshes, lagoons, and tidal guts—includes many tips for visiting and photographing this community.