Home Chesapeake Bay community receives $2.3M grant for mitigation projects

Chesapeake Bay community receives $2.3M grant for mitigation projects

Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay
(© Linda Harms – stock.adobe.com)

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has awarded a $2.3 million grant to Tangier Island to plan and implement environmental protection and mitigation projects.

The primary project involves protecting Tangier’s petroleum storage facility which is exposed to flooding and will benefit from additional environmental controls to prevent spills. Safe operation of this storage facility will support the island’s fishing fleet and other equipment.

“When we learned about the significant threats to this unique community from an unprotected fuel facility and recurrent flooding, DEQ was ready and eager to help,” said Mike Rolband, DEQ director. “We are pleased that DEQ was able to provide funding and technical support that Tangier Island and its residents so critically need.”

A portion of the grant will be used to purchase the tank facility from the existing owner. The town will also replace the old tanks and failing infrastructure with new double walled tanks and associated infrastructure.

These improvements, which will be completed by the end of 2024, will prevent spills or breeches from reaching the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

The grant will also fund the purchase of critical equipment and spare parts for the town’s wastewater treatment plant. Funding will also be used for the installation of flood gates at areas around the island that are particularly affected by recurrent flooding.

“On behalf of the residents of Tangier Island, many thanks to DEQ for its financial and project management support,” said James “Ooker” Eskridge, Tangier mayor. “DEQ’s assistance will allow us to move these important projects forward.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.