Northam announces deal to protect Tangier Island channel, harbor

Flooding is not unusual on Tangier Island, which is only about 4 feet above sea level. Here, the front of a restaurant and a store are experiencing flooding on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia and the Army Corps of Engineers have finalized an agreement to build a 500-foot jetty on Tangier Island to help protect a navigation channel and harbor.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the agreement Monday and said the new jetty would help the island’s seafood industry. The jetty is expected to cost about $2.6 million, and the state will cover about 20 percent.

Scientists say Tangier Island is eroding into the Chesapeake Bay while sea levels are rising against its shores. Studies predict its dwindling population of 460 people may have to abandon Tangier in 25 to 50 years — if not sooner.

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