Tangier Island, one of the inhabited islands in the Chesapeake Bay, received a $2.3 million grant for environmental protection and mitigation projects, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality announced.

Tangier is just south of the border between Maryland and Virginia, and a bit south of Smith Island. It’s home to “a unique and vulnerable Chesapeake Bay community,” according to the DEQ.

The grant will go toward three projects on the island: protecting Tangier’s petroleum storage facility, purchasing equipment and spare parts for its wastewater treatment plant, and installing floodgates around the island in places that are “particularly affected by recurrent flooding.”

“We are pleased that DEQ was able to provide funding and technical support that Tangier Island and its residents so critically need,” the agency’s director, Mike Rolband, said in a statement.

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The town plans to purchase the petroleum tank facility from its current owner and replace it with a new double-walled tank. DEQ said the improvements will be complete by the end of the year. The improvements will prevent petroleum spills from reaching the Chesapeake Bay and are necessary for the island to continue to support its fishing industry, according to the DEQ.

Tangier Island is home to an unique accent, reminiscent of the country’s colonial past. The island is only accessible by boat or ferry. Its population, as of the 2020 Census, was 436 people.

The island is also threatened by climate change. Rising sea levels and coastal erosion have eaten away at Tangier, which has lost two-thirds of its landmass since 1850. Some experts predict the island will need to be abandoned by 2050.

Tangier’s mayor, James “Ooker” Eskridge, has said the issues of sea level rise and coastal erosion are bigger than the community can handle on its own, and that it “would be unthinkable just to abandon this and start over somewhere.”