Port Heiden’s road to the safe harbor and old village was closed in November due to erosion. Photo taken Nov. 22, 2017. (Chasen Cunitz via KDLG)
Port Heiden on the Alaska Peninsula is losing shoreline quickly. Wind and waves have pushed the coast inland by an average of about 30 feet this year. Areas along the road from Port Heiden to the safe harbor and old village site lost roughly 17 feet in November. At the end of the month, the village closed the road because it is no longer safe to drive.
A crucial section of that road winds along a 12-foot bluff above the beach. It is a crust of dry land hemmed in by the bluff edge on one side and Goldfish Lake on the other.
“The road is basically gone. (Erosion)’s cut right half into the road,” said Scott Anderson, the Native Village pf Port Heiden’s tribal environmental director.