Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why Obama wants to spend millions relocating entire U.S. communities

When President Barack Obama visited Alaska last summer, he did not stop in tiny Kivalina, a village of about 400 that has become a poster child for climate vulnerability. But he did fly over it, and the view from Air Force One revealed just how exposed the community truly is. Located on a thin barrier island well above the Arctic Circle, and facing severe erosion as declining sea ice exposes its coast to large waves, Kivalina needs to relocate - which could cost well over $100 million. And now, Obama's budget request to Congress includes a proposed $400 million "to cover the unique circumstances confronting vulnerable Alaskan communities, including relocation expenses for Alaska Native villages threatened by rising seas, coastal erosion, and storm surges." The funding would be through the Department of the Interior, whose secretary, Sally Jewell, visited Kivalina last year. It's part of a larger $2 billion coastal climate resilience program proposed in the agency's budget...more

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