By RCAC communications staff

Map-Newtok, AKThe federal spending bill signed on March 23 included $15 million to help relocate an Alaskan village that is threatened by rising water due to climate change.

The Ninglick River is heading toward Newtok homes and structures at a rate of about 70 feet per year. The school and airport will be closed within three years, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The community is attempting to rebuild at Mertarvik, nine miles away. The total cost to relocate the village is around $150 million.

The funds will be used to construct houses at the new site. The community also received state and federal grant funds that will be used to purchase and demolish the most endangered homes, and to pay fair market value to the owners. They can relocate anywhere they like, but members of the village say they want to stay together.

“We have a bond with everyone in Newtok, with friends and family,” resident John Kasayuli told the Anchorage Daily News.

For more details, go here: