Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

The Native Village of Napaimute's 35 year old plow truck named Tumlista, the One Who Makes a Trail.
Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

This week a crew has plowed 135 miles of an ice road from Bethel to Aniak. Mark Leary, with the Native Village of Napaimute, leads the crew and reports that there are wet, rough ice stretches from Akiak to Aniak, with the roughest ice sitting just below Aniak.

High Ocean Acidification Found Where Salmon Eat

Jan 30, 2019

One of the species of plankton that fish depend on is already being threatened by ocean acidification. That’s from data presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage this week.

The Native Village of Napaimute ice road crew towing the ice radar to assess ice conditions on the Kuskokwim River.Credit Mark LearyEdit | Remove

In most places, the Kuskokwim River measures 18 to 24 inches of ice. Some areas of the main channel have just over a foot of ice.

Screengrab from

Bundle up out there.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Donlin Gold is still waiting on the state to approve its financial bonding and draft reclamation plan for its gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

2018 was the second warmest year for Bethel in nearly 100 years of recordkeeping. According to Rick Thoman, a climate scientist in Alaska, Bethel has been no stranger to a warming climate, especially in the last five years.

Newtok Is On The Move

Dec 27, 2018
Katie Basile / KYUK

It’s taken more than 20 years, but the Newtok relocation effort is going into hyperdrive this summer. According to plans unveiled by the Alaska Native Health Consortium staff at a meeting of the Newtok Planning group this fall, a huge construction crew is headed to Mertarvik to build the infrastructure for relocating Newtok, the community threated by climate change-fueled erosion. The plan for the 2019 construction season includes a long list of projects.

Katie Basile / KYUK

Donlin Gold has signed an agreement with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to protect some of the Trust's wetlands in the Cook Inlet area. The company is trying to develop one of the biggest gold mines in the world in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and the mine, if built, would disturb 2,800 acres of wetlands. Because Donlin can’t restore all of those wetlands, it is required to protect wetlands somewhere else. 

Napakiak City Council Member Walter Nelson shows where year by year, more of Napakiak’s land has been washed away by the Kuskokwim River. The river eroded 82 feet of land between May 30, 2018 and September 7, 2018. Picture taken December 3, 2018.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

For as long as anyone remembers, Napakiak has been retreating from the Kuskokwim. The village of about 400 people sits on a bend in the river, and every year that bend grows deeper. In recent years, the erosion has accelerated. As the land has fallen away, Napakiak has picked up its homes and buildings and moved them further from the water. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Donlin Gold is waiting on one important permit for its proposed gold mine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The state says that it will issue a decision by the end of 2018. And next year looks pretty busy for Donlin as state agencies prepare for public hearings over more permits. The company needs at least 100 permits before it can start mining.