For the second time the 560 residents of the island of Shishmaref in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, have voted to relocate due to the impacts of climate change.
The village sits on a 3-mile stretch of beach and is a quarter-mile long. The native Inupiaq people are hunters, gatherers and fisherman, though an increase in strong, unpredictable storms, rising seas, melting permafrost and erosion have threatened their way of life. Thirteen homes have been relocated in just fifteen years; it is expected that the entire island will erode in the next twenty years.
A study done by the Army Corps of Engineers put a $179 million price tag on relocating Shishmaref to the Alaskan mainland. It is but one of the 200 Alaska Native villages falling victim to climate change.