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4/18/2011 - Cheer for Tangier is this week's Shore Good News - Click here to print this information

Let's hear it for Tangier Island! Tangier Island, is home to over 500 people and has been referred to as heaven on earth by many. But Tangier Island is facing a serious challenge. Part of the island is eroding and islanders are worried about losing this priceless piece of America.

But there's good news! We can all help, and all you have to do is "cheer" for Tangier! Readers Digest, who says they are the world's largest global editorial brand and have a reputation for "getting to the heart of the matter and "capturing the best of America" is running the "We Hear You America" campaign.
Basically its an online contest where people can go to a specific site and vote "or cheer", as they call it, up to ten times daily for the town of their choice. The top ten towns with the greatest amount of cheers, wins.


The prize for getting the most votes? They call it promotional and economic stimulus. The top ten winning towns of this phase of the contest, which runs until May 16th, will receive funds ranging from $10,000 to the grand prize of $40,000, plus promotional support through Reader's Digest outlets which includes over 30 million readers. Having that kind of publicity could encourage a lot of people to visit the unique island of Tangier and that could definitely stimulate many parts of our eastern shore economy.

But there is a more important reason for you to cheer than stimulating our economy. Shelli Crockett, who is from Tangier and now lives in Texas is spearheading the efforts, using social media like Facebook, to encourage cheering. I talked with Shelli who told me that because Tangier is eroding at an alarming rate, the prize money will go towards a new seawall. "This small island has an important place in history and needs to be saved." says Crockett.

Tangier Mayor William Eskridge says this is a very serious problem. On the east side of the island, there are openings on both sides of the harbor that are quickly eroding and the openings are getting wider every year. They have needed a new seawall since the late 90s but funding has just not been available. A seawall or jetty as some call it would cost at least $300,000.

He said back in the 80's a seawall was put in on the west side and it saved the island. Had it not been done, the airport and some homes would be gone.

Now, when you are competing with the whole United States, it might seem impossible to win this type of competition. But actually, Tangier was in 800th place when they started and has quickly moved to 26th place. Thats really amazing and I believe we can finish in the top ten, if not at 1! So here's the website:

On that site, you can find comments left by those who are cheering, like: "if the old English accents do not draw you to Tangier... Its rich and vast history and amazing natural beauty will. So I ask you to please help save Tangier." Another one reads: "Did you know that Tangier Island played a role in the national anthem, which next year will be 200 years old? Let's make sure Tangier also lives long after that, in part by building a seawall that could get a huge financial boost from this cheer campaign. Francis Scott Key penned The Star Spangled Banner after the British failure at Baltimore - which had been predicted by Joshua Thomas, the Parson of the Islands, who addressed the British on Tangier's beach. The continuing, unique culture of this waterman community and its rich history make it worthy of your cheer!" It certainly does.

Now, when I was talking with Mayor Eskridge, he also told me that Tangier is willing to take barges to provide protection for their island. He has talked with Congressman Scott Rigell about having a barge brought in as an alternative to a rock or concrete seawall. Would you take a few minutes to give Congressman Rigells office a call to tell him that you support this effort? Congressman Rigell's local number is (757)789-5172.

Let's join in together to save this island by cheering to win or by helping to get a barge. And remember to visit everyday to cheer for Tangier!

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