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NAPS to Present “Tangier in Crisis” Program

Seventh Grade Community Problem Solvers

The Northumberland Assn. for Progressive Stewardship (NAPS) will present a special program, “Tangier in Crisis,” dealing with the unique island’s future on Saturday, February 11, at Fellowship Hall, Heathsville United Methodist Church starting at 10 a.m. The church is located at the corner of Rt. 360 and VA-201 in Heathsville.

The program features a report by the Northumberland Middle School 7th-grade Community Problem Solvers, a video presentation about sea-level rise, and a movie trailer of the documentary, Pieces of Tangier produced by Jenny Roberts.

The students became aware of Tangier Island culture and environment on a visit in 2015 when they learned about erosion and sea-rise impact. “This caused our group to ponder if it is a problem to undertake,” said Shauna McCranie, Coordinator for Gifted Services for the public schools, who leads the Community Problem Solvers. “So we spent the better part of last year researching, traveling back to Tangier, meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, and writing to President Obama. We felt that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.”

The Problem Solvers will discuss the challenges facing Tangier, including the steady lose of land and the sharp decline in population as young people have moved to pursue careers on the mainland. “Our major concern is the people of Tangier. We are concerned for their physical well-being and culture. We are also concerned about the buildings, structures, and infrastructures, including the availability of fresh water,” their report states.

Having reviewed the challenges, their report will include possible alternatives and a plan of action. The presentation will have PowerPoint illustrations.

To amplify the program theme, the video presentation will focus on a discussion of sea-level rise. When the Community Problem Solvers were in 6th grade, they greeted the Polynesian Hokule’a ocean-going canoe when it visited Tangier Island in 2015. At that time, the Northumberland team, Tangier sixth graders, crew, engineers, and scientists talked about climate change and how it is negatively affecting the heritage, culture, and history of communities like Tangier.

The documentary Pieces of Tangier is the work of Jenny Roberts. She explains, “I filmed and edited it over a two year period while studying in the Masters Film program at Ohio University, with one crew member who helped for a couple of months. It was finished in 2013 and the short trailer was produced in 2012.”

In one of the interviews, a waterman says, “If you live on Tangier, it’s what you do. I hate to think someday it will not be here.”

All are welcome to the program and refreshments will be served.

Photo: Seventh grade Community Problem Solvers include (top row, left to right) Will Reger, Malik Hickman, Skyler Pearson, Grant Biddlecomb, Hallie Shackleford, and Jessica Lee; (2nd row, l –r) Rachel Perez, Teagan Mullins, Owen Newsome, and Jay Bea; (bottom row, l – r) Sophia Sapanara, Darrah Downing, Channing Reynolds, and Mia Bundy. Not pictured: Maddie Garrity, Shane Bryant, Dalton Fulford, Tom Neale, and Lane Eubank.

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