Rural Alaska

Alaska village gets funding for erosion and other effects of climate change

BETHEL — The Alaska village of Napakiak received $449,000 in federal funding that could help the community respond to erosion and other effects of climate change.

The village of less than 400 residents, which received the funding on Thursday, has lost 50 feet (more than 15 meters) of its shoreline since May, Tribal Administrator David Andrew said.

A storm destroyed Napakiak's boat and hovercraft landing, which residents relied on for food and supply deliveries, KYUK-AM reported.

The village has been getting its food flown in ever since, which is much more expensive, Andrew said. Erosion also threatens the community's school and fuel depot, so Napakiak turned to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for help.

The funding will help the community design and build a new landing for hovercraft, barges and residents' boats. Napakiak will need more support over the next year, Andrew said.

The village, which has moved before, will have to move again, Andrew said. Napakiak held a fiddle dance recently to raise enough money to a move a house, which was dangerously close to the river's banks.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org