Voters in Kivalina, Alaska, a traditional Inupiat Eskimo community of more than 400 people has a potential community changing vote this upcoming week. The vote will determine if the community will initiate a project to build a new school 7-miles away, reports The Washington Post.
The village is built on an 8-mile barrier reef between the Kivalina River and Chukchi Sea and is only reachable by boat, plane or snowmobile.
Historically, the village was protected by large sea ice, which also supported the economy as most inhabitants are fishermen. However, the climate change has the ice forming later and melting sooner, which has caused mass erosion to plague the community.
According to town officials, Kivalina was 54-acres in size decades ago, but erosion has squeezed it to half that size.
Community members may be able to reduce erosion in the area, while construction of the relocation is underway. Jute Netting is an effective way to keep soil, land and gravel in place even with changing weather patterns. There is no doubt that the village will have to relocate, but with Jute Netting the process can be done carefully over a few years.