Climate Progress reports: As erosion and rising seas destroy their land, residents of Newtok, Alaska, are hopeful that their community can be saved before the threats of climate change engulf their village.
About 500 miles west of Anchorage, the Yup’ik Eskimo community has begun the elaborate process of relocating their village nine miles away from its current location. The community has become a news centerpiece in recent years, commonly being referred to as “the sinking village.” The devastating effects of the world’s changing climate are predominately evident in Newtok, and it is being considered as a possible national model for moving entire communities that are facing the effects of climate change.
The State of Alaska is currently seeking a portion of a nearly $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) grant which helps to move and assist threatened villages and adapt to the threats posed by climate change. In the NDRC proposal released Friday, Alaska State officials are proposing $62.6 million of the NDRC grant money be used for relocating 62 families from Newtok to new homes in a town called Mertarvik. They are also seeking funding $162.4 million in relief for for three other vulnerable areas — Emmonak, Galena and Teller. Newtok is the only community that has begun a physical move thus far. [Continue reading…]