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Tribe Declared First Official Climate Refugees in U.S.

In the deep south lies a dwindling island in Louisiana, about 130 km southwest of New Orleans. It is home to the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians and many of its residents have been forced to flee due to the effects of climate change.

The island continues to sink under waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Due to sea level rise, flooding, oil and gas development, about 98 per cent of the tribe's traditional lands have eroded since 1955.

The 22,000-acre island has been reduced to a mere 320-acre strip today. As of 2009, only 25 houses remain occupied, down from 63 only five years prior, according to a report by Northern Arizona University.

Going On Going On

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