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Sebastien Leban | United States

Aerial view of Tangier where one distinguishes one of the main streets. High tide has covered the roads and gardens and widens swamps already very numerous. Largely devastated in 2012 during the hurricane Sandy, Tangier fears a new episode that could be fatal.

The island of Tangier is a metaphor for the absurd. Its inhabitants, climate change skeptics, see their land sink gradually in the ocean.

James Eskridge, mayor of Tangier moves away from the dock. This sticky thought remains in his mind: "I'm afraid to see my island disappear! I think about it day and night." James knows that the days of his island are counted. The threat is the rising waters and the erosion. The ocean that has been keeping the islanders alive for generations now condemns them to a definite disappearance.

Since the first cartographic surveys around 1850, the island has lost two thirds of its surface. Planted in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, 160 km from Washington, Tangier rises to 94 centimeters above sea level. It is the crab fishery that feeds the very conservative and religious community of 460 inhabitants. In the 2016 presidential election, Tangier awarded the candidate Donald Trump 95% of his votes.

Every year, the ocean gains nearly four meters on the shore and the marshy areas widen. These two phenomena are accelerated by rising water levels and global warming. 

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