COMMUNITIES IN CRISIS

Rapidly changing climates are affecting the livability of Alaskan villages. We are doing this fundraiser at the request of the Alaskan Indigenous People to help them raise money to protect their future generations.

BACKSTORY AND SOLUTION

Alaska is melting due to permafrost thaw. Whole communities are being washed away due to accelerated erosion.  Both existing and new infrastructure in remote villages are failing at an alarming rate. Human health is affected as many homes are sinking causing sewer pipes to pull away from the structures, necessitating the use of honey buckets.  Sewage lagoons are threatening to erode, releasing raw sewage into the sea. Also, community wells are being contaminated due to flooding; drinkable water must be collected from snow or freshwater ponds. Even cemeteries are being dug up and relocated.  Failing infrastructure is not the only challenge facing villagers. Changes in frozen tundra, ice cellars,  travel routes, and storm frequency are just a few of the impacts on the livability of the villages; entire villages are relocating.  The Alaska Federation of Natives has declared a state of emergency, with Native Alaskans stating they just “want to survive.” There are over 200 villages in Alaska, each facing new threats to their homes and traditional lifestyles. One Village Elder was quoted saying, “I’m concerned for the younger generation; we need to do something here and now.”

The changes in climate, including the increased occurrence of extreme weather‐related events, are a threat to Alaska and Alaskans. Communities need to adapt to the ‘new’ current conditions while preparing for escalating changes. These environmentally threated villages do not have the information they need for effective resilience planning. Community members need to know what projected climates may look like in 10, 20 or 50 years to help them prepare for the future. This fundraiser will provide actionable data to threatened communities, enabling indigenous villages to be proactive instead of reactive to climate change.