A fiercely independent group of people is uniting for the first time to save its way of life. By inviting outsiders in, Smith Islanders say they’re ready to change to stay the same.
As he hauled bushel after bushel of soft-shell crabs out of his boat on a 100-degree day, Mark Kitching made no bones about it: Smith Islanders don’t want to hear from outsiders about what to do with their island.
As he sorted through soft-shell crabs caught just that morning, Kitching, who can trace his family's history on the island back 12 generations, said they're just trying to protect their way of life. "I can't say we want our way and that's it, but we're out here working on the water, trying to make a living, trying to feed our families."