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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.

 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.

 Photo: Sally Russell Cox 

Below: 2009 view of the Mertarvik barge banding and the IRT base camp from the Ninglick River.

  Photo: Sally Russell Cox 

Below: 2010 aerial view of the pioneer infrastructure at Mertarvik, staging areas for Mertarvik Evacuation Center to the far left.

 Photo: Mike Coffey, DOT/PF 

Below: 2011 aerial view of the pioneer infrastructure at Mertarvik, foundation of Mertarvik Evacuation Center to the far right.

 Photo: Harvey Smith, DOT/PF 

Below: 2014 photo showing the pioneer infrastructure developed at Mertarvik through the coordination of the NPG.

The beginning of a new village - Mertarvik on Nelson Island. Photo: Lemay Engineering; Labels: Sally Russell Cox

Next - Part Six: References

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

For more information contact:

Sally Russell Cox

Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4588 FAX: (907) 269-4066