Losing Newtok: A Story of Climate Change in Alaska


What if you every time you left home, it was possible that not only your house, but your entire community could be gone before you return? Literally. Well that’s the scenario that the residents of Newtok, Alaska are facing as the permafrost on which their village is built continues to melt due to the effects of climate change. While there is no way to avoid eventually losing Newtok, efforts are underway to preserve the community’s way of life as residents relocate to more solid ground nine miles away. The village’s “Relocation Coordinator,” Romy Cadiente, shares the story of what climate change is doing to his village and people and describes the challenge of moving an entire village. He’s joined by Wilson Center Polar Initiative Director, Mike Sfraga for this special edition of Wilson Center NOW.



Romy Cadiente serves as Relocation Coordinator for the village of Newtok, Alaska.


Mike Sfraga is Director of the Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative.


John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming.