ANTHC staff start work to help relocate Newtok

November 23, 2016

As climate change threatens many locations in Alaska, the village of Newtok in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region prepares to relocate their village to a new site, Mertarvik, which will be protected from erosion and thawing permafrost.

ANTHC Survey and Engineering crews recently conducted a site visit to the Mertarvik site to collect topographical survey data for the development of the new community. The team worked through challenging weather conditions and off-grid lodging with limited to no power, heating, and water and sewer services to serve the new community. The team was supported by several people from Newtok and was able to acquire topographical data above and beyond their assignment. This effort will expedite design services for infrastructure within the Mertarvik town site both for ANTHC and our partners assisting Newtok in relocation.

An ANTHC project management team conducted a separate site visit to Newtok to engage the community and cultivate input in the town site development of Mertarvik. Cold Climate Housing Research Center and DOWL Engineering, who are partners with ANTHC in assisting the community to relocate to Mertarvik, were also in attendance. Over two days, staff met with Elders, the Newtok Village Council, the community at large and students through a series of public meetings, class room sessions, council meetings and community events. The community is excited about the path forward and appreciates ANTHC’s efforts to provide direct engagement in the project.

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