Work starts to relocate Alaska village

Posted: Friday, July 24, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Work has begun to relocate the eroding village of Newtok.

The Bristol Bay Times reported that U.S. Army landing craft arrived in southwest Alaska last week, unloading heavy equipment and other materials at Toksook Bay. The effort is designed to lighten the craft's load as it heads up the shallow Ninglick River past Newtok and to the relocation site nine miles upriver.

The Army, Marines and other military branches are providing personnel and heavy equipment for the next five years to help with the relocation of Newtok, population 350.

The Ninglick has been cutting away shoreline and moving toward the village at about 70 feet per year.

The proposed village sits higher than the old village, on a treeless tundra slope on Nelson Island.

It's called Mertarvik, which means "getting water from the stream" in Yup'ik.

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