RadioBDC Logo
Under Cover Of Darkness | The Strokes Listen Live
 
RECENT ENTRIES
the Big Picture




Translate into:
(Hint: Use 'j' and 'k' keys to move up and down)
September 25, 2013

Smith Island

In the middle of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, a tiny island may soon become an early victim of climate change. Smith Island is the last inhabited island in Maryland, a place where residents, hearty watermen who make their living catching oysters and blue crabs, still speak in the Cornish dialect of their ancestors. Many Smith Islanders can trace their ancestry back 12 generations to the English colonists who settled here in the 17th century. And yet their link to this land may soon be broken: Smith Island is eroding. Though scientists differ on how long it will be before the island is underwater, anywhere between 30 and 100 years, there is no dispute about the cause: rising seas. The global trend of rising ocean levels is especially acute in the Chesapeake Bay, where water is rising at twice the world average. To make matters worse, the land around the Chesapeake is sinking: a trend scientists call post-glacial subsidence. According to a state-commissioned task force, Maryland is now losing 260 acres of tidal shoreline annually. The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates that Smith Island has lost 3,300 acres of wetlands in the last 150 years. Many residents have relocated to the mainland; the island's population is down from a peak of 700 in 1960 to 267 full-time residents today. -- European Pressphoto Agency -- photographs by Jim Lo Scalzo ( 19 photos )

Foreshadowing the possible fate of neighboring Smith Island, a cemetery is all that remains of a once bustling fishing community of 360 people on Holland Island, Md, on 27 July. Rising water forced residents to leave the island nearly 100 years ago. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency)

Waterman Billy Clayton pulls in a crab dredge, which he dragged along the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay to pull up blue crabs, on his boat off the coast of the Smith Island town of Tylerton on June 12. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Blue crabs crawl inside a bushel on watermen Billy Clayton's boat after Clayton pulled them from the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of the Smith Island. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Captain Terry Laird, right, and his son Terry Junior endure rough seas as Captain Terry pilots a boat carrying soft shell crabs 12 miles east across the Chesapeake Bay to the mainland town of Crisfield, Md., from their home on the Smith Island town of Ewell on June 14. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Waterman Danny Tyler checks on his soft-shell crabs, crabs that have just molted and are soft to the touch, and especially delicious to eat, outside his crab shanty at dusk on the Smith Island town of Tylerton on June 11. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A peacock brought to Smith Island by Captain Larry Laird perches on a resident's car on the docks of the island town of Tylerton on June 13. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Peggy Evans, right, along with her grandson Colby Evans rushes home from her job at Rukes grocery store and restaurant just before the arrival of a derecho, a line of thunderstorms with especially strong winds, in the Smith Island town of Ewell in June 13. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Ed Dize, right, entertains Bobby Smith while Ed's wife Connie and Bobby's mother Kristen (both not pictured) work in the Smith Island Baking Company making traditional 10-layer Smith Island cakes. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Louise Clayton, wife of waterman Billy Clayton, picks steamed crabmeat from her husband's catch of blue crabs to make crab cakes for their family in their shanty on the marina of the Smith Island town of Tylerton on June 11. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Smith Island residents, along with visiting relatives, pray inside the island's Methodist Tabernacle during an annual religious gathering called the 'camp meeting' in Ewell on July 28. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Two children walk and pedal down Caleb Jones Road after a strong evening thunderstorm on the Smith Island town of Ewell. Cars are rare in Ewell, where many roads are just wide enough to accommodate golf carts, the most popular means of getting around the island. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

In the mainland town of Crisfield, where residents like to say that they all have some Smith Island blood, 10-year-old Madison Clayton, center, whose father descends from the Smith Island town of Tylerton, lines up with other children to dance in a street parade during the 66th National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, Md In the last 50 years, much of Smith Island's population has relocated to the mainland. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Missy Tyler, left, and Connie Dize stack layers of cake between icing to make traditional 10-layer Smith Island cakes at the Smith Island Baking Company on the island town of Ewell on June 13. Many islanders hope that marketing and selling Smith Island's signature cakes can help diversify the local economy. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A derecho, a line of thunderstorms with especially strong winds, arrives on the west coast of the Smith Island town of Ewell on June 13. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Barry Bruce, right, prays inside Smith Island's Methodist tabernacle during an annual religious gathering called the 'camp meeting' on July 28. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Lighting lights up the night sky outside the United Methodist Church on Smith Island in Ewell, Md., on July 28. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A line of thunderstorms with especially strong winds arrives on the west coast of the Smith Island town of Ewell on June 13. According to a US Army Corps of Engineers report, Smith Island has lost 3,300 acres of wetlands in the last 150 years to erosion and rising waters. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

Brown pelican chicks squawk in their nest in the middle of a colony on an uninhabited marsh on the Virginia side of Smith Island just south of Tylerton, Md., on June 12. Forty years ago, due to the pesticide DDT, brown pelicans were on the edge of extinction; the Smith island colony began to appear in 1987. Scientists believe global warming may be a factor in their northward range extension into the Chesapeake Bay. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #

A new moon lights up the Chesapeake Bay behind a boat dock on the Smith Island town of Tylerton, Md., on June 12. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency) #
 
ARCHIVES
CATEGORIES
RECENT ENTRIES