Erosion threatens Alaskans

October 22, 2007

As much as $500 million may be needed in Alaska to move people living in three coastal communities threatened by erosion.

A report Monday in the Alaska Daily News said it will cost $412,000 per person or a total of $130 million to relocate residents of the Bering Sea coastal town of Newtok, which has about 320 residents.

To move the people of Kivalina, a barrier island in the Chukchi, could cost as much as $125 million while relocating residents of Shismaref is estimated at $200 million, the newspaper said.

State planner Sally Russell Cox told the Daily News the big question is where will Alaska get the money to finance the relocation of the three endangered communities.

"I hate to put things in economic terms because these are human beings we're talking about," says Cox. "These are lifestyles they've led for thousands of years that have been passed on to them by their forefathers."

In past years, native Alaskans moved to safer places if their homes were threatened but modern buildings, airstrips and roads keep once-nomadic people anchored in place, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Boats sit idle as algae threatens Dungeness crab season

Related Stories

Climate change and the catastrophic wildfire

November 23, 2015

Over the past several months news of widespread wildfires has coursed through the media from every corner of the world. In the United States, the wildfire season is now two months longer than it was 100 years ago. In 2015 ...

BP fined $25 million over Alaska oil spill

May 3, 2011

BP has been fined $25 million and ordered to spend an estimated $60 million to improve pipeline safety in Alaska after a 2006 oil spill there, US authorities said Tuesday.

King salmon vanishing in Alaska, smokehouses empty

August 2, 2009

(AP) -- Yukon River smokehouses should be filled this summer with oil-rich strips of king salmon - long used by Alaska Natives as a high-energy food to get through the long Alaska winters. But they're mostly empty.

Recommended for you

Antarctic ice safety band at risk

February 9, 2016

Antarctica is surrounded by huge ice shelves. New research, using ice velocity data from satellites such as ESA's heritage Envisat, has revealed that there is a critical point where these shelves act as a safety band, holding ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.