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The Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development offices are closed to the public at this time. We are still open for business and encourage you to contact us via phone or email.

Newtok Planning Group

Newtok Village Relocation History

Part Five: Mertarvik - Getting Water from the Spring

Since 2006, Newtok's new village site Mertarvik, has been transformed from an undeveloped expanse of gently sloping tundra and willow to the beginnings of a new village. The photos below show some of the changes over a six-year period.

Mertarvik Barge Ramp Photo: Sally Russell Cox
Above: in anticipation of the delivery of 3 Bureau of Indian Affairs Housing Improvement Program housing packages, in late summer of 2006, community members constructed a small wooden ramp to offload the packages from the barge. Below: in the summer of 2008, the three homes were almost complete.

Mertarvik houses
Photo: Sally Russell Cox

Below: 2009 view of the Mertarvik barge banding and the IRT base camp from the Ninglick River.
View of the Mertarvik barge banding and the IRT base camp
Photo: Sally Russell Cox

Below: 2010 aerial view of the pioneer infrastructure at Mertarvik, staging areas for Mertarvik Evacuation Center to the far left.
Mertarvi 2010
Photo: Mike Coffey, DOT/PF

Below: 2011 aerial view of the pioneer infrastructure at Mertarvik, foundation of Mertarvik Evacuation Center to the far right.
Mertarvik 2011
Photo: Harvey Smith, DOT/PF

Below: 2014 photo showing the pioneer infrastructure developed at Mertarvik through the coordination of the NPG.
Mertarvik Aerial The beginning of a new village - Mertarvik on Nelson Island.
Photo: Lemay Engineering; Labels: Sally Russell Cox
Click to open a larger version of this labeled aerial photo.

Next - Part Six: References

  1. Part One: The Qaluyaarmiut - People of the Dip Net
  2. Part Two: Early Efforts to Address Erosion
  3. Part Three: Progressive Erosion Brings New Problems
  4. Part Four: The Newtok Planning Group
  5. Part Five: Mertarvik - Getting Water from the Spring
  6. Part Six: References

Contact for More Information

Sally Russell Cox
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1650
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4588
FAX: (907) 269-4563
Email:sally.cox@alaska.gov