President Barack Obama delivers his final speech from Kotzebue during his 2015 Alaskan tour on September 2, 2015. Topics he discussed include impressions of Alaska, climate change evidence and solutions, and renewable energy ideas.
Kivalina is wedged onto a sliver of gravel not even a quarter-mile across at its widest, between the open sea to the west and the expansive Kivalina Lagoon to the east. Erosion from Chukchi Sea waves on one side and lagoon currents on the other are a continuing threat.
In his speech in Kotzebue, President Obama thanked Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott for their recent leadership in helping pave the way for thousands more Alaskans to gain health care under Medicaid next year.