Atmautluak was awarded a $50,000 State Fiscal Year 2009 Hazard Impact Assessment grant to identify and define the climate change-related hazards in the community, establish current and predicted impacts, and provide recommendations on alternatives to mitigate the hazard impacts.
Atmautluak (pronounced aht-MOUTH-luck), 2010 population 277, is located on the west bank of the Pitmiktakik River in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta regional basin, 20 air miles northwest of Bethel. The community is in the Unorganized Borough.
The entire length of the community is subject to erosion, which is caused by natural river flow, spring breakup, melting permafrost, boat wakes and ice jams.
According to local officials, three to four ice jams have caused 1- 2 feet of erosion per event over the last 10 years. The Pitmiktakik River, a tributary of the Johnson River, erodes approximately 1 foot per year. Community officials report that the river bank and surrounding ground used to be higher but is sinking due to melting permafrost. The lake shore is also eroding due to melting permafrost and occasional strong south winds.
The Atmautluak Hazard Impact Assessment, completed in June 2010 by WH Pacific in partnership with Shannon & Wilson, recommends several measures by which Atmautluak can address its hazard impacts:
The community plans to address one or more of these recommendations through its Community Planning Grant, to be started in 2013.
Eroded riverbank and threatened homes. Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Atmautluak Traditional Council
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development