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Notice of Office Closure

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development offices will be closed to the public on November 23rd and 24th. We will be closed November 23rd in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday and November 24th is an unpaid furlough day for employees to reduce state expenses.

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