Originally Published: December 26, 2017 6:01 a.m.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana officials have decided to relocate the remaining residents of a shrinking island to a sugar cane farm.
Nola.com|The Times-Picayune and The New Orleans Advocate report that dozens of Isle de Jean Charles residents are to be relocated to the farm in Terrebonne Parish, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) to the northwest. The state is negotiating to purchase the 515-acre (210-hectare) tract.
The move is being funded with a first-of-its-kind $48 million federal grant — awarded in 2016 — to relocate communities fleeing climate change.
Isle de Jean Charles is home to members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe. It has lost 98 percent of its area since 1955. Causes include erosion, sinking of coastal land, and Mississippi River levees that block replenishing river sediment.
Climate change-triggered sea level rise is expected to drown the island.