Planning and Land Management

Alaska Community Coastal Protection Project

The Alaska Community Coastal Protection Project is being carried out by the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Division of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA) through a grant from the Alaska Coastal Impact Assistance Program. This project, and the Alaska Coastal Impact Assistance Program, are funded with qualified outer continental shelf oil and gas revenues by the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Alaska Community Coastal Protection Project focuses on three of the most imminently threatened villages in Western Alaska: the communities of Kivalina, Shaktoolik and Shishmaref. The objective of the project is to increase community resilience and sustainability to the impacts of natural hazards threatening these communities while protecting the natural coastal environment. The project is based on the premise that careful planning, agency collaboration and strong community leadership are essential to successfully addressing the needs of imperiled communities.

Community Project Pages for Kivalina, Shaktoolik and Shishmaref
Alaska Community Coastal Protection Project Documents and Links

Newtok Planning Group Website

Community resilience is increased through three measures:

  • Interagency Collaborative Support Structure: Using a collaborative model similar to the Newtok Planning Group, DCRA will establish interagency planning work groups for the three communities. Through these working groups, collaborative organizational structures will be developed to focus the combined capabilities of local, regional, state, and federal stakeholders on accomplishing the recommended actions for each community, whether it is shoreline protection, elevation of community structures, migration from shorelines, relocation, or a combination of these actions. These planning work groups will serve as a vehicle for coordinating resources and technical assistance from state and federal agencies, regional organizations and local governments on a community-specific basis.
  • Local Capacity Building: Grants will be provided to each community to establish a full-time community coordinator (two years) who will work with project staff, representatives of the inter-agency group, and the contractor, as well as serve as an advocate for funding through grants and other means to implement needed evaluations and action plans. A key role of the community coordinators is to ensure community representation at the interagency working group meetings. DCRA will provide training and technical assistance to the local project coordinator in the areas of community planning, project development and grant writing.
  • Comprehensive Strategic Management Plan: A contractor will be hired to develop a strategic management plan for each community which will provide the “blueprint” for how the community and agencies will proceed over the next five years to accomplish the recommended actions the community has decided to take, such as shoreline protection, elevation of community structures, migration from shorelines, relocation, or a combination of these actions. The contractor will work with project staff and the local project coordinators, and attend inter-agency meetings to develop the strategic management plans.

For more information contact:

Sally Russell Cox

Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4588 FAX: (907) 269-4066
Email:sally.cox@alaska.gov