A Surprising Place for Climate Relocation: Washington State

The city of Hamilton in Skagit County, Washington showcases another kind of community at risk from the effects of climate change and considering relocation to higher ground.
May 14, 2019, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The Skagit River, as viewed from the Sauk Mountains in Washington State.
Stephen Klise

Evan Bush reports from Hamilton, Washington, described as a tight knit community, in the wake of several economic setbacks, and subject to the environmental disaster of repeated floods from the Skagit River. The city is at a "crossroads," writes Bush.

Mayor Joan Cromley wants to relocate the town.

Cromley and conservationists want to take an extraordinary step: Move her rural town. Seattle-based nonprofit Forterra, which specializes in environmental conservation and sustainable community development, recently purchased 45 acres adjacent to the town’s boundary.

Forterra is pitching a heady vision: Develop and move residents to a new, low-carbon, low-waste village with a slew of eco-friendly amenities not typically found even in large cities.

The city's relocation would also allow for restoration projects aimed to helping recover dwindling numbers of Chinook salmon, favorite food of the dwindling orca.

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Published on Sunday, May 12, 2019 in The Seattle Times
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