Kivalina is at the tip of an 8-mile
barrier reef located between the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina River. It lies
80 air miles northwest of Kotzebue. It lies at approximately 67░ 43' N
Latitude, 164░ 32' W Longitude (Sec. 21, T027N, R026W, Kateel River
Meridian). The community is located in the Kotzebue Recording District.
The area encompasses 2 sq. miles of land and 3 sq. miles of water.
has long been a stopping-off place for seasonal travelers between arctic
coastal areas and Kotzebue Sound communities. It is the only village in
the region where people hunt the bowhead whale. At one time, the village
was located at the north end of the Kivalina Lagoon. It was reported as
"Kivualinagmut" in 1847 by Lt. Zagoskin of the Russian Navy. Lt. G.M.
Stoney of the U.S. Navy reported the village as "Kuveleek" in 1885. A
post office was established in 1940. An airstrip was built in 1960.
Kivalina incorporated as a City in 1969. During the 1970s, new houses, a
new school and an electric system were constructed in the village. Prior
to 1976, high school students from Noatak would attend school in
Kivalina, and board with local families. Due to severe erosion, the City
intends to relocate -- a new site has been selected 7.5 miles away.
Funds have been provided by various federal and state agencies since the
early 1990s to assess relocation alternatives and to design and engineer
the new site.