A Native American community living on the Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, have been offered a resettlement payout because of the changes to the environment according to reports on Sunday (28 August).

Many of the island's 100 residents are members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Native American tribe. Their ancestors had lived on the land since the early 1800s. The Native American community had lost 98% of the land due to coastal erosion and rising sea levels since 1955. The population, which was once approximately 400, is now under 100.

"The thing I am really sad about is the cemetery. My great grandfather was the last to be buried there. I'll have to leave him behind," resident Chris Brunet told Sky News.

"My ancestors lived off the land and the water here, through good times and bad. I've made the decision to go but a little of me will stay behind... it's where I belong."

The whole of Isle de jean Charles is slipping further and further into the Gulf of Mexico and the problems are exacerbated by oil and gas extraction. Together with rising sea levels caused by climate change is speeding up the process and scientists believe that within a decade the area will be uninhabitable.

The community now has the option of leaving the area for good, thanks to a $48m (£36m) US government grant to resettle in another location. Chantel Commardelle, the tribal secretary, who has already left the area said: "We are the face of climate change."

Others are determined to stay as the move is optional, not mandatory. "I lived here all my life, I will die here." Hilton Chaisson said.

Conservationists are warning that all the coastal areas of the United States are in danger, with Florida especially vulnerable. Marine ecologist Professor, Nancy Rabalais, said: "This is not the last time we will be telling this story. To me it's just another symptom of the human footprint on the earth."

It is thought that an estimated 200 million people in coastal communities around the world could be displaced by 2050 because of climate change, according to a report titled Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing The Evidence.