Skip to content
Back to Top

E-Commerce Applications Outage

To accommodate the deployment of a new system, the Department of Commerce Community and Economic Development is scheduling an outage for all e-Commerce applications from November 30 at 5PM until December 1 at 7AM

Offices Closed to Public

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

Working together for the safe and healthy future of Newtok at Mertarvik

Delta Discovery Mertarvik
Mertarvik, October 2019. Photo: Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation (UIC)

The Newtok Planning Group was formed in May 2006 when representatives from state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations began meeting with Newtok to coordinate assistance for the relocation of the community to a new village site on Nelson Island. The relocation site is called Mertarvik, which in Yup’ik means, “getting water from the spring.”

Mertarvik Logo

The village of Newtok is threatened by advancing erosion caused by the Ninglick River adjacent to the village. This progressive erosion, in combination with permafrost degradation and flooding of the village during seasonal storms has created a serious threat to the existence of the village. Years of erosion studies have concluded that Newtok must relocate as there is no permanent and cost-effective alternative for remaining at the current village site.

In 2006, Newtok Village requested the assistance of the Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA), within the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development (DCCED), with Newtok's relocation effort. DCCED is directed by two Alaska Administrative Orders ( AO 231 and AO 239 ) "to act as the state coordinating agency to coordinate with the other state and federal agencies to propose long-term solutions to the ongoing erosion issues in... affected coastal communities..." Consistent with this directive, DCRA organized the Newtok Planning Group (NPG) to coordinate assistance to Newtok on the relocation effort.

Newtok Erosion
Severe erosion of bank of the Ninglick River threatens Newtok homes, Photo: Romy Cadiente

The NPG has convened regularly since its formation, working with Newtok and across agencies to leverage resources, secure funding, and to establish a framework and strategy for moving the relocation process forward. Download a list of the participants in the NPG.

Through the unique partnership of the NPG, a range of initiatives, studies, and pioneer infrastructure projects has been completed or is currently underway at Mertarvik. Collaboration among Newtok and state and federal agencies has been behind the success of every project.

To learn more about the relocation efforts currently underway for Newtok and the new village site, Mertarvik, please see " Relocation Activities" in the Resources Section, below.

Resources

A Brief History of the Settlement of Newtok and Village Relocation Efforts Meeting Minutes/Agendas Relocation Activities Newtok Planning Group Documents Reports and Studies Maps and Aerial Photos Mertarvik Site Visit Photos DCRA's Community Resilience Programs

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 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4588 FAX: (907) 269-4066
Email: sally.cox@alaska.gov