Arctic & Antarctica
NOELLA COCKNEY’S HOME IS ONE OF FOUR BUILDINGS ON THE POINT LISTED FOR URGENT RELOCATION DUE TO PROGRESSING SHORE EROSION. ALL PHOTOS BY WERONIKA MURRAY UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED

This Arctic Community Is Literally Falling Into the Ocean

Some residents of Tuktoyaktuk, on the northern tip of Northwest Territories, are facing relocation as they struggle with melting ground and a rising sea.

Indigenous peoples and people of colour are disproportionately affected by our global climate crisis. But in the mainstream green movement and in the media, they are often forgotten or excluded. This is Tipping Point, a new VICE series that covers environmental justice stories about and, where possible, written by people in the communities experiencing the stark reality of our changing planet.

In 1994, when Sandy and Sarah Adam moved into their home on The Point, Tuktoyaktuk, on the northern tip of the Northwest Territories, there was a spacious backyard and a beach separating their house from the ocean.

Now, the rip-rap, the shore reinforcement made of boulders, is the only thing protecting their home from the destructive force of the waves of the Beaufort Sea.

Sandy Adam on The Point, August 2018. He said he doesn’t allow his grandchildren to play on the rip-rap anymore as the boulders have become dangerously unstable.

SANDY ADAM ON THE POINT, AUGUST 2018. HE SAID HE DOESN’T ALLOW HIS GRANDCHILDREN TO PLAY ON THE RIP-RAP ANYMORE AS THE BOULDERS HAVE BECOME DANGEROUSLY UNSTABLE.

Sandy said that despite the boulders and geotextiles added three years ago, the reinforcement is slowly sliding down into the water. “Too much, way too much” of his property has been washed away, Sandy said, shaking his head.


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