Resettling the First American ‘Climate Refugees'

Joann Bourg and her family have lived on Isle De Jean Charles, LA for generations and they are now being forced to leave the island forever and relocate as some of America’s first ‘Climate Refugees’. It’s an unfortunate group to be a part of and it’s another clear sign climate change is not something future generations will have to deal with. Climate change is here and now and Joann Bourg are living, breathing proof of this very unfortunate reality.

In January, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced grants totaling $1 billion in 13 states to help communities adapt to climate change, by building stronger levees, dams and drainage systems.

One of those grants, $48 million for Isle de Jean Charles, is something new: the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change. The divisions the effort has exposed and the logistical and moral dilemmas it has presented point up in microcosm the massive problems the world could face in the coming decades as it confronts a new category of displaced people who have become known as climate refugees.

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