NAPS, students, to present ‘Tangier in Crisis’

From left are (front row) Sophia Sapanara, Darrah Downing, Channing Reynolds and Mia Bundy; (next row) Rachel Perez, Teagan Mullins, Owen Newsome and Jay Bea; (next row) Will Reger, Malik Hickman, Skyler Pearson, Grant Biddlecomb, Hallie Shackleford and Jessica Lee. Other team members are Maddie Garrity, Shane Bryant, Dalton Fulford, Tom Neale and Lane Eubank.

The Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship (NAPS) will present “Tangier in Crisis” at 10 a.m. February 11, in the Heathsville United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 39 Courthouse Road, Heathsville.

The program will feature 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 the Tangier Island culture and environment on a visit in 2015, when they also learned about erosion and sea-rise impact.

“This caused our group to ponder if it is a problem to undertake,” said gifted services coordinator Shauna McCranie, 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 loss of land and the sharp decline in population as young people have moved to pursue careers on the mainland. According to their report, their major concern is the people of Tangier, their physical well-being and culture. They also are concerned about the buildings, structures and infrastructures, including the availability of fresh water.

Having reviewed the challenges, their report will include possible alternatives and a plan of action.

To amplify the program theme, the video presentation will focus on a discussion of sea-level rise. When the Community Problem Solvers were in sixth-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.

Documentary producer Roberts said, “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.


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