According to the latest projections, sea level in the Humboldt Bay area will rise 1 foot by 2030, 2 feet by 2050, and 3 feet by 2060. The primary impacts from sea level rise are increases in flooding and erosion. Sea level rise will expand the area vulnerable to flooding during major storms, as well as in the rare but catastrophic event of a major tsunami. 

The term 100-year flood is used as a standard for planning, insurance, and environmental analysis.  People, infrastructure, and property are already located in areas vulnerable to flooding from a 100-year event. Sea level rise will cause more frequent—and more damaging—floods to those already at risk and will increase the size of the coastal floodplain, placing new areas at risk to flooding.

Why is sea level rising twice as fast here as it is along the rest of the Pacific coast? Which areas around Humboldt Bay are most likely to be under water in the future? How will sea level rise affect the agricultural lands on former bay tidelands? How will Caltrans keep Highway 101 above water? What will happen in low-lying areas of Arcata and Eureka?


The Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Adaptation Planning Project will provide an update for the public at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, 921 Waterfront Drive, Eureka.

Relative sea level rise on Humboldt Bay highest in state


Climate change has been called a “long emergency,” with impacts ranging from the current extreme drought in California to globe-spanning disruptions of weather patterns and ecosystems predicted for the coming decades. Here in Humboldt County, one of the many predicted impacts is sea level rise, which experts say could threaten underground utilities and U.S. Highway 101. Here’s a look at what the county is doing to adapt.

Sea level rise proposal will be updated; 

City to provide info to coastal commission on future development plans


With its local coastal development program last updated in 1989, Arcata has been working to incorporate sea level rise into its future development standards and will provide an update on its efforts next week at the California Coastal Commission’s meeting in Del Norte County.


(Arcata, CA) – The California Coastal Conservancy awarded the City of Arcata an $86,000 Climate Ready Grant on Wednesday. The grant will fund design and permitting of fringe salt marshes or “living shorelines” to protect vulnerable City facilities including the wastewater treatment plant, Klopp Lake and coastal access at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Arcata is one of 20 cities, counties and nonprofit organization awarded funds to reduce risks from the warming climate and rising sea levels.


King tides are exciting: The ocean creeps up and up into our faces, higher than usual, until we can’t help but stop in the middle of the Eureka Slough Bridge to gaze and wonder, “Where’d that skinny island go?” And then, driving around Humboldt Bay, we marvel at the overtopped dikes and waterlogged bay islands and other high-nibble shores.

Real exciting — and unnerving to imagine in conjunction with sea-level rise.

Well, here’s your task, you morbid water watchers: Some mighty king tides are coming in a few days, and Humboldt Baykeeper wants you to volunteer to go out there and document what happens at “vulnerable areas of the bay’s shoreline,” as it notes in a news release.