That island, like many other islands in Chesapeake Bay, will eventually wash away. This is something that happens in ALL estuaries and the only way to prevent this is to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to construct a sea wall around the island's perimeter, which would be insane.
One of the reasons for the shoreline erosion is the loss of aquatic vegetation in the shallows of Chesapeake Bay. Those sea grasses began vanishing in the late 1800s and will continue to be lost as the water quality of the bay continues to be degraded by a number of sources. Additionally, there was a time when the residents of both Tangier and Smith islands dredged for soft shell crabs in those grasses, uprooting huge tracts of the vegetation in the process. Naysayers said it was no different than mowing a lawn and was actually healthy for the grass, but history proved them dead wrong.
As for the sea level rising in Chesapeake Bay - Nope - not happening thus far. According to several reports, the average level is the same as it was 200 years ago. Al Gore said Baltimore would be underwater by 2012, guess Al was a bit off the mark. Then, last night, I heard a NOAA model said that global warming at the current rate will increase the planet's average temperature by .0174 degrees during the next 75 years, but that was only if there was no change in solar activity, which is never the case. I wonder if my 9 year old grandson will notice a .0174 degree temperature change when he 84 years old?
Just had another thought, how about doing to Tangier and Smith islands the same thing that was done to Poplar Island, which also faced the same peril. Those of us that are really old remember Poplar Island when it consisted of a half dozen islands that formed an atol. It was a great place to catch big striped bass, white perch and slammer bluefish during spring and late fall. The state of Maryland decided that this island could be preserved by turning it into a dredging spoil site, similar to what took place at the Hart/Miller island complex and Battery Island near Havre de Grace. If the feds decide to dredge the Potomac, which is continually being silted in, it's not all that far to Tangier and Smith Island for those dredging barges to transport the spoils. That island could soon be 20 feet above sea level. Think about it!