The Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project: Relocating a Coastal Community Threatened by Climate Change 

An arial view of a narrow strip of beige island with buildings running diagonal across a blue ocean dotted with tiny islets.

About the The Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project: Relocating a Coastal Community Threatened by Climate Change  Series

In 2016, the Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project made international news when Louisiana won a $92 million federal grant for climate resilience projects. More than half of the funding was allocated to relocate the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe from its namesake island in South Louisiana. The coastal island of Isle de Jean Charles is eroding dramatically, leaving its remaining residents in peril as climate change quickens sea level rise and intensifies storms that continue to batter its shores. The project was meant to be a road map for coastal communities around the world undertaking managed retreat from climate threats. But irreconcilable differences over the vision for the resettlement community soon emerged between Louisiana’s Office of Community Development and the Tribe, now renamed the Jean Charles Choctaw Nation. This series covers the trajectory of the first federally funded effort to relocate a coastal community already grappling with climate change impacts.

In This Series

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Think twice before partnering with the government, leaders of the Jean Charles Choctaw Nation warn other coastal communities facing resettlement due to climate change.

Think twice before partnering with the government, leaders of the Jean Charles Choctaw Nation warn other coastal communities facing resettlement due to climate change.
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Tribes face devastating circumstances and little government assistance more than a week after the Category 4 hurricane pummeled their homes.

Tribes face devastating circumstances and little government assistance more than a week after the Category 4 hurricane pummeled their homes.
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From pulverized homes and flooded cemeteries to oil slicks and toppled boats, the damage from this Category 4 storm is widespread in Louisiana.

From pulverized homes and flooded cemeteries to oil slicks and toppled boats, the damage from this Category 4 storm is widespread in Louisiana.
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After a long state and federal push to relocate the Indigenous people of Isle de Jean Charles from their threatened homeland, new recreational development around the island risks further colonial displacement.

After a long state and federal push to relocate the Indigenous people of Isle de Jean Charles from their threatened homeland, new recreational development around the island risks further colonial displacement.
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The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed life much for Chris Burnet, a lifelong resident of Isle de Jean Charles, a quickly eroding strip of land among south Louisiana’s wetlands. Though the island, ab...
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While most of Louisiana was spared Barry’s wrath last week, Isle de Jean Charles, a quickly eroding strip of land among coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico, was not. A storm surge swept over the...
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Albert Naquin, Chief of the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC), often loses sleep over his tribe’s fate as its historic island homeland continues to lose land at an alarmin...
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After DeSmog broke the news that the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC) was considering ending its partnership in a $48 million climate change resettlement project, talks h...
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The announcement that the State of Louisiana had purchased land for a resettlement project spearheaded by the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC) reached the Tribe’s executi...
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Members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe who live on Isle de Jean Charles in southern Louisiana are destined to become some of the first climate change refugees in the United States. But that...