Tangier Island sits like a fishhook in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, a fishing village known for its distinct local accent and eroding shoreline. Every now and again, it makes the news for a quirky event, like when the mayor found some oysters attached to a crab, or a tragic one, as when a longtime resident drowned.
That changed in June, when President Donald Trump called Tangier Mayor James “Ooker” Eskridge. The president, who has suggested in the past that climate change is a hoax, told Eskridge not to worry about rising sea levels. “Your island has been there for hundreds of years,” he told Eskridge, “and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more."
Trump offered such reassurance after seeing a CNN report about the island, home to about 400 souls, many of whom trace their roots to three families that arrived from England in the 1600s. CNN’s Jennifer Gray reported that 87 percent of the island voted for Trump. Eskridge said he loved Trump “as much as any family member I got.” If Gray saw Trump, Eskridge pleaded, let the president know they needed help.