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Natural Resources Defense Council

In 2010, the last remaining house on this Maryland barrier island toppled into the Atlantic Ocean.

A final glimpse before the ocean swallowed up the last remaining vestige of Holland Island. Image by Baldeaglebluff/Flickr.


Holland Island, once located in the Chesapeake Bay, had known this was coming. Rising tides and wind forced the island's residents, once numbering up to 360, to seek drier ground on Maryland's mainland between 1914 and 1922. The house seen in the picture no longer remains in place. It's been enveloped into the surrounding waters, dismantled by a storm in October 2010.

A similar story is in progress with nearby Smith Island right now.

It's not far from where Holland Island once existed, and it's the last remaining inhabited offshore island (inaccessible by car) in Maryland's waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

A report from 2008 forecasts an identical fate — that by the year 2100, the island will be "almost completely under water as the Bay's average level goes up nearly one-foot."

A once-grand home on Smith Island now seems to be waiting for time and the elements to take it. Image by Lee Cannon/Flickr.

That's why the state is trying to buy people out of their land and relocate them to the mainland.

Only a small fraction of Smith Island residents accepted the offer, though. Many of the 276 who remain seem to believe the rising tide predictions are horse-hooey. From a Newsweek interview with resident Tim Marshall:

"'The whole sea-level rise — it's BS,' he says, talking loudly over the boat's motor. 'I've lived here my whole life and haven't seen a difference.'"

But glacial melting is a bona fide fact that says otherwise.

Experts illustrate this expected rise with an image of nearby Deal Island (connected to Maryland's mainland by a bridge):

The red line depicts the approximate level of flooding if a Category 2 hurricane were to hit in the year 2100 (factoring in rising sea level plus the size of waves). Photo via "Rising Sea Level Guidance"/Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Here's the thing: Global warming isn't coming just for these unfortunate residents. They're just on the front end of the timeline. From the Natural Resources Defense Council:

"Scientists at the U.S. Center for Atmospheric Research predict that if the current rate of global warming continues, the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by 2040."

If the ice caps continue melting at such an increased pace, it could mean the sea levels rising by 10 inches to 23 inches everywhere by the year 2100 (reminder — that's only 85ish years from now). The Gulf Coast, the state of Florida, and the whole Atlantic seaboard would be gone.

What prompts residents to hold fast to these islands in spite of the dire writing on the wall?

The small-town way of life, the remote and peaceful surroundings minimally touched by the modernization happening in the rest of the world, and generations of family ties are all some of the reasons residents might be holding on so tight. It must come down to love, right? Love of their lifestyle and love for the legacy of such a special place.

Smith Island is a 45-minute boat ride from Maryland's mainland shore. Image by Lee Cannon/Wikimedia Commons.

But as Don Henley and Patti Smyth once sang: Baby, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Love won't stop the sea level from rising. Love won't stop time from ravaging Smith Island just the way Holland Island was forced to succumb to the reality of global warming. So residents need to hear the facts, but environmentalists and government folks also need to hear the community perspective, including our calls for them to take action before local situations get this bad. Eventually everyone will leave the island — that's not optional, it's GOING to happen — but in the meantime, an open conversation could be the best way to help get people engaged and planning for their futures.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.