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Residents of eroding AK village seek federal help

By Associated Press 12:38 PM January 17, 2014

Murkowski notes a December announcement that Vietnam will receive $17 million from the U.S. for erosion mitigation efforts.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Tony Weyiouanna remembers when people played beach baseball in his village on Alaska’s storm-battered western coast. Now, there’s barely enough room for hopscotch on Shishmaref’s eroding waterfront.

Erosion is an escalating problem blamed on climate change. That message was relayed this week by Weyiouanna and four other residents from the small Inupiat Eskimo community who traveled to the nation’s capital, armed with stories and a clump of eroding sod.

The group met with Alaska’s congressional delegation and officials from federal agencies.

In response to the visit, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski sent a letter Thursday to President Barack Obama, telling him she learned Shishmaref has no federal funding available to deal erosion.

Murkowski notes a December announcement that Vietnam will receive $17 million from the U.S. for erosion mitigation efforts.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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