President Donald Trump is this week’s climate jester for assuring the mayor of the rapidly sinking Chesapeake Bay island community of Tangier, Virginia that the “island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.” The low lying island with a population of about 450 is sinking due to erosion and sea level rise. Scientists have predicted that Tangier, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014, will have to relocate its residents over the next two decades, making them among the first U.S. climate refugees.
“You’ve got one heck of an island there,” Trump reportedly told the mayor.
Trump’s budget proposal included a 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, which funds the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). CBF was planning to build seawalls on the island, a project that will likely be delayed if there is a cut in the program’s funding.