The First ‘Climate Refugees’ in the Lower 48 States Live in This Sinking Island in Louisiana

Written by Anna Culaba

If trends continue, the small island of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana will disappear in the next 50 years.

And the people who have been living there for centuries are being forced to relocate.

The Guardian reports that the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe will have to resettle because of climate change and increased natural disasters. This makes the tribe the first “climate refugees” in the lower 48 states.

“If it passes a hurricane, it’s gonna wash everything away,” Wenceslaus Billiot told The Guardian. “That’s why they want us to move.”

According to Reuters, the island has lost about 98 percent of its land since the 1950s. As for the people, during its peak about 400 people lived in the island, today, about 100 are left struggling to survive in the Louisiana coastal wetlands.

Reuters also reports that the federal government has allocated about $48 million for the relocation of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe.

But they won’t certainly be the only ones.

A study published in the journal Natural Climate Change found that by the end of the century, 13 million people living in the US will be affected by rising sea levels.

This post originally appeared on RYOT

Photo Credit: Facebook/Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians/Babs Bagwell

65 comments

Ann B
Ann B25 days ago

climate change is here and the people in charge are to busy lifting hunting ban to notice , but then when you have that much MONEY power makes you think you can buy anything---even another planet????

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara27 days ago

th

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Glennis W
Glennis W27 days ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W27 days ago

Great information Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W27 days ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W27 days ago

Scary and worrying Thank you for caring and sharing

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Justin M
Justin M28 days ago

Thanks

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Sue H
Sue H28 days ago

I wonder how the tribe is doing with resettlement plans?

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william Miller
william Miller1 years ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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