Climate change is forcing some villages to move. What is the government doing to help? | Alaska Insight

Increasingly violent and frequent storms driven by climate change are becoming the new normal. The reliable freeze-up that would stabilize shorelines before heavy winter weather helped to protect Alaska’s coastal areas from extreme erosion. But fall storms are worsening and relentlessly eating away coastline, as well as community infrastructure. What are the latest efforts to help relocate Alaska’s coastal residents before they become climate refugees? And where will the funding come from? As winter approaches, we are checking in on plans to move villages to safety.

Lori Townsend talks with Jocelyn Fenton, Transportation and Infrastructure Protection Program Manager for the Denali Commission and Jackie Qataliña Schaeffer, Senior Project Manager for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.