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Climate Change Forces Louisiana Town to Be Relocated

Isle de Jean Charles is the first town in the U.S. to get federal help with relocating.

Science By

The U.S. government is helping a town relocate as sea levels rise—a likely harbinger of what’s to come.

Isle de Jean Charles, Louisana, is the first American town to receive federal funds to help the entire town relocate as a result of climate change.

Families living in 29 homes are being forced to move off the tiny island, which is being swallowed up by the Gulf of Mexico. There is only one road on Isle de Jean Charles, and water now flows on the fringes of both sides. Quartz reports that 98 percent of the island has been lost since 1955.

Isle de Jean Charles is part of a pilot project to explore how relocating entire coastal towns could actually work. Through the National Disaster Resilience Competition, the town was allocated $48 million to relocate the entire population to higher ground. That money came from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $1 billion fund to explore applications of new technology and creative ways to respond to the challenges presented by climate change.

Now that they’ve been given the funding, the town of Isle de Jean Charles plans to choose its future home from a list of three possible sites in the next two months.

Read full story at Quartz