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.



Aldaron Laird, who walked or kayaked all 102 miles of Humboldt Bay’s shoreline and its sloughs as part of his study, “Hum­boldt Bay Shoreline Invento­ry, Mapping and Sea Level Rise Assessment,” was the featured speaker on May 30 at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center.

Laird is an environmental planner who specializes in getting permits for wetland enhancement projects and doing historical studies of rivers and tidal waters. He produced the Humboldt Bay Historical Atlas in 2007.



This year, Laird is complet­ing work for a California Coastal Conservancy grant to inventory the bay’s shore­line and “ground truth” GIS data on the shoreline’s attributes — part of a statewide effort to map areas that will be affected by sea level rise.

 During his tour of the bay's shoreline, Laird discovered that acres of diked farmland are currently ill-equipped to hold back the rising sea. The last native salt marsh ecosystems are also at risk of being drowned out by sea level rise.

 Laird’s presentation will include some of his 14,000 photographs taken during the project.

To watch online, click HERE. Thanks to Access Humboldt!

For more info, see "Aldaron's Walkabout" in January's North Coast Journal.

3/13/12

About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.

 

If the pace of the rise accelerates as much as expected, researchers found, coastal flooding at levels that were once exceedingly rare could become an every-few-years occurrence by the middle of this century.

7/29/11

What do Bay Area airports and some big Silicon Valley companies have in common? They sit right on the edge of San Francisco Bay, where sea level rise is expected to have a big impact by the end of the century.

That may seem far in the future, but state agencies are preparing for climate change now by writing new rules for construction along the bay’s shoreline. As you can imagine, developers and environmentalists aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye.

On Tues. and Wed. (Nov. 26-27), the first “King Tides” of this winter will coincide with a winter storm, which could lead to coastal flooding. Be very cautious of rising water, eroding shoreline, flooded roadways, and high winds. 

Baykeeper volunteers have been documenting King Tides since 2011. To get involved, all you need is a camera or a smartphone. Submit photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Photo: Arcata's Wastewater Treatment Facility, 12-14-16. Photo by Rich Ridenhour.