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FEMA Awards $6.7 Million for Native Village of Newtok Relocation Efforts

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Release Date:
mars 20, 2024

BOTHELL, Wash. – FEMA has awarded $6,768,114.23 for the Native Village of Newtok in Alaska as part of their efforts to relocate their entire village to a new site. This grant will allow the village to acquire 36 homes and provide families with the funds to move to a safer location.     

Newtok, located on the Ninglick River, has faced progressive coastal erosion from ocean storms and degrading permafrost that has threatened homes and critical infrastructure. The community currently faces a rate of erosion of approximately 70 feet per year, with Typhoon Merbok in September 2022 exacerbating conditions and leaving less than 30 feet between the river and the Newtok School, the community’s only emergency shelter. Studies have concluded that the only solution is to move the entire village to a new site. Mertarvik, the site of the new village, is located approximately nine miles across the Ninglick River from Newtok.

“The residents and leaders of Newtok have undertaken a monumental effort as they tackle the impacts of climate change on their community,” said FEMA Region 10 Administrator Willie G. Nunn. “This funding forms just one part of our collaborative partnership with the community to provide the resources needed to help them secure their future for generations to come.”

"We appreciate FEMA for this opportunity; it's bittersweet, but it's for the better for the community,” said Calvin Tom, Tribal Administrator. “Relocation has been in talks as far as I can remember, and it’s happening before our eyes. Climate change has impacted the people of Newtok. It’s a new beginning for our people."

The funding was awarded as part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program which provides funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments so they can develop hazard mitigation plans and rebuild in a way that reduces, or mitigates, future disaster losses in their communities. The subgrant will be managed by Newtok Village Council in partnership with the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The Native Village of Newtok was also recently selected to receive $25 million to support their relocation efforts as part of the Voluntary Community-Driven Relocation program, an effort led by the Department of the Interior in partnership with FEMA, the Denali Commission, and other federal agencies. Learn more about FEMA Efforts Advancing Community-Driven Relocation | FEMA.gov

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