Alaska Climate Change Impact Mitigation Program

Community Planning Grants


Shishmaref is focusing its Community Planning Grant on a Site Selection Feasibility Study which will enable the community to identify a safe, stable and sustainable new village site.

Shishmaref Site Selection Feasibility Study Documents


Shishmaref is located on Sarichef Island, in the Chukchi Sea, just north of the Bering Strait. Shishmaref is 5 miles from the mainland, 126 miles north of Nome, and 100 miles southwest of Kotzebue. The community of Shishmaref is being affected by high rates of erosion along the shoreline. Climatic conditions have led to icepack development occurring later and later each year. Without the icepack in place, the island is more susceptible to fall and early winter storms that have increased erosion and littoral drift. Erosion and littoral drift are shifting the island footprint northeastward and southwestward, subjecting the developed  areas to massive wave scour and erosion of the fine materials that make up the island. Erosion is undermining buildings and infrastructure, causing several structures to collapse and fall into the sea. All efforts to arrest the erosion have been unsuccessful for other than short periods of time.

Shishmaref Site Selection Feasibility Study

In the course of the project, Shishmaref will:

  • Develop physical and socio-economic criteria for site selection, identify at least three alternative sites which meet the established criteria
  • Assess alternative sites from the perspective of cultural and socio-economic needs of the community, alternative energy, cost, development potential and long term sustainability of the site
  • Select a preferred alternative
  • Based on the community’s preferred alternative site, make recommendations for next steps in relocation planning

Coastal Storm in Shishmaref: Tony Weyiouanna  

Shishmaref  main point of contact for ACCIMP Community Planning Grant:

Stanley Tocktoo

City of Shishmaref
Phone: 907-649-3781

For more information contact:

Sally Russell Cox

Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Phone: 907-269-4588