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Shishmaref Relocation Strategic Plan January 2002

Created: 1/30/2002 - Updated: 11/06/2018


The community of Shishmaref has determined that the threat to life and property from reoccurring beachfront erosion requires immediate action. The community has taken the first step by establishing an erosion and relocation coalition made up of the governing members of the City, Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) Council and Shishmaref Native Corporation Board of Directors.  Faced with the decision of whether to remain at its present location or to move, the majority of the community is in favor of moving. This plan is a guideline to assist the community as well as state, federal, and other agencies in assisting Shishmaref with an orderly relocation.

Published On

Thursday, January 31, 2002


Tribal / First Nation
Sector Addressed: 
Climate Justice
Disaster Risk Management
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Transportation / Infrastructure
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Air temperature
Culture / communities
Infrastructure damage
Public health risks
Public safety threats
Sea level rise
Storms or extreme weather events
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development
Managed retreat of built infrastructure, relocation of people/communities
Climate Type: 

Related Resources

Sector Addressed: 
Climate Justice
Development (socioeconomic)
Disaster Risk Management
Public Health
Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Transportation / Infrastructure
Water Resources

The Native Village of Shishmaref is located on Sarichef Island in the Chukchi Sea. This barrier island is highly vulnerable to coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, and flooding. Relocation efforts have been underway since 2001; a lack of funding has delayed the process and the people and infrastructure remain at risk.