"How A Northwest Tribe Is Escaping A Rising Ocean"

"In a mossy stretch of forest on Washington state's outer coast, streets and sidewalks have appeared in recent weeks, representing the future of the Quinault Indian Nation. The coastal tribe has spent a decade trying to move its villages out of reach of a rising Pacific Ocean and its tsunamis. It's an approach many communities might need to embrace as Earth's climate keeps warming and seas keep rising.

Where the Quinault River empties into the Pacific, a sea wall of massive boulders protects the Quinault Reservation village of Taholah from pounding waves, but it's not always up to the task.

"It is inevitable that my street will be in the ocean at some point," Lia Frenchman said. The Quinault tribal member and historic preservation officer lives with her partner and two kids in a modular home perched on cinder blocks in the shadow of the sea wall.

"At high tide in winter, the waves will come over, my backyard will fill with water, and you'll see the water running under my house, out into the street," Frenchman said. "Like, I'll have a full current going.""

John Ryan reports for KUOW/NPR February 19, 2024.

Source: KUOW, 02/23/2024