When Jamie was growing up there were three or four hundred families living on his island. Now only 23 remain.
“Oh yeah, my Grandpa had a beauty--big, beautiful garden. We had orange trees, he had an apple tree, we had a grapefruit, lemon…. Almost every yard had a garden with some type.”
“It was beautiful…. It was just so thick full of oak trees, you have Spanish moss at home, off of every oak branch that you can find.”
Things started to change when Oil companies started dredging for pipelines and engineers diverted fresh water away. Now with sea levels rising, the salt water is coming in and the storm surges are getting worse.
“Every time the storm comes in, they get bigger and bigger. They take more of our land.”
“It's dying from, from salt water. The salt water's just killing it…. Ain't got no more oak trees. The saltwater killed them.”
And that’s when the exodus started.
“Families moved because… people just tired of being wet and not having nothing done about it. Because they all, do, you work hard, you put something into your house… you go to bed, you're dry, you wake up, next thing you know you got a foot of water--four or five inches of water in your house because the water done--creep in during the night.”
But Jamie is sticking it out.
“It would be hard for me to leave knowing that I was born and raised here. Just to leave all of this behind it would be strange for me. I really don’t ever want to leave this.”
“If we don't do something to control our impact on the environment, we're gonna continue melting the icebergs. As the icebergs melt, we're gonna continue flooding more here….
We getting bigger and bigger storms....I mean, take, take Sandy for instance. That was just a category one, but it was 1000 miles across. That's a big freaking storm.”
“We don't cut back our fuel use, quit depending on the oil, we gonna kill our Earth. We only got one, one freaking planet. Where you gonna go whenever you can't live here?”
“Instead of sitting there waiting until twenty years from now, why not put them in place? They've got the technology to do it. Why not do it? We get power off of the sun… we could use the wind.”
“Nobody wants to cut the other man's pocket. But it's not, it's not the pocket you're gonna hurt, it's gonna be our kids, our grandkids that's gonna have to suffer for what we doing. Just like we're suffering now for what they did. All we're doing is just keep passing it on.”