The Humboldt Bay area may become the site of the first offshore wind energy project on the west coast of North America. The pieces are quickly falling into place for Redwood Coast Energy Authority to become the first local government entity to apply for a commercial offshore wind lease from the federal government. Unlike land-based projects, this lease bid would be just the beginning of a series of studies and related permits that could culminate in project development in 5-7 years.

Humboldt Baykeeper was launched in October 2004 to safeguard our coastal resources for the health, enjoyment, and economic strength of the Humboldt Bay community through education, scientific research, and enforcement of laws to fight pollution.

 

Our Staff:


Jennifer Kalt, Director

707.499.3678
jkalt [AT] humboldtbaykeeper.org  
 
Jasmin Segura, Bay Tours Coordinator
707.407.6183 
jasmin [AT] humboldtbaykeeper.org
 

Humboldt Baykeeper is a program of the Northcoast Environmental Center, a non-profit organization devoted to conserving, protecting, and celebrating terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems of northern California and southern Oregon.

Our Tax ID# is 23-7122386. Please specify that your donation is intended for Humboldt Baykeeper.

 

Board of Directors:

Larry Glass - President, Representative for Safe Alternatives For Our Forest Environment
Dan Sealy Vice President, At-Large
Chris Beresford - Treasurer, At-Large
Jennifer Kalt - Secretary, Representative for Humboldt Baykeeper
CJ Ralph - Representative for Redwood Region Audubon Society
Gary Falxa, Representative for California Native Plant Society, North Coast Chapter
Richard Kreis - Representative for Sierra Club North Group, Redwood Chapter
Tom Wheeler, Representative for Environmental Protection Information Center
Alicia HamannRepresentative for Friends of the Eel River
Margaret Gainer, At-Large 
Jim Test, At-Large

Humboldt Baykeeper Advisory Committee:

Fred Evenson - Director, Ecological Rights Foundation
Larry Glass - Board President, Northcoast Environmental Center
Aldaron Laird - Sea Level Rise Planner, Trinity Associates,
Mike Manetas - Retired Educator
Kerry McNamee - Conservation Planner, Northcoast Regional Land Trust
Pete Nichols - National Director, Waterkeeper Alliance
Laurie Richmond - Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University
Michelle D. Smith - Environmental Attorney
Michael Welch - Director, Redwood Alliance 

What are Coastal Resources?

 

Humboldt Bay is the second largest estuary in California. The Bay and the adjacent Pacific Ocean coastline give our community its unique character. The health of our waters both in the bay and along our coastline depend greatly on the functioning of the intertidal mudflats, salt marshes, and freshwater wetlands of Humboldt Bay which act as a natural pollution filter and flood plain. Clean water supports healthier fisheries, which in turn support bird and wildlife populations.

 

For the human community around the bay and coast this means more lucrative fisheries, better bird hunting, bird watching, and cleaner water for recreating, including boating, surfing, diving, and swimming.    

 

Humboldt Baykeeper's programs involve scientists, boaters, fishermen, birdwatchers, students, and other concerned citizens in the important work of protecting Humboldt Bay, its tributaries, and the near-shore waters of the Pacific Ocean.

 

The geographical reach of Humboldt Baykeeper's programs includes Humboldt Bay, its tributaries, and the Pacific Coast between Trinidad Harbor to the north and the Eel River estuary to the south. Baykeeper maintains an on-the-water presence throughout the area, patrolling by motorboat, kayak, and airplane, with upland areas patrolled by car and by foot.

 

 

 

Federal officials are seeking to expand an ocean dumping site for dredge spoils off Eureka, Calif., and one future plan includes using a location near the shore for disposal to help buffer the coastline from sea-level rise.

 

Each year an estimated 1 million cubic yards of nontoxic sediment is dredged from Humboldt Bay and dumped about three miles offshore to clear the way for recreational boats and commercial vessels, including oil tankers.

 

Jennifer Kalt, director of the advocacy and education group Humboldt Baykeeper, said scientists have been advocating for placing sand closer to shore rather than hauling it out to the ocean to counteract erosion that happens on the north and south spits of the bay. 

“Local experts have been advocating for this for years—it’s good that the EPA is nally listening,” Kalt wrote in an email. 

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While Caltrans' project on the 6-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 101 that connects Eureka and Arcata is aimed at improving safety for motorists, the agency got an earful Aug. 7 from California Coastal Commissioners who felt it is ignoring a potentially far more dangerous threat: sea level rise.

 

"This is ground zero," said Chair Dayna Bochco. "We don't have a lot of time right here. The traffic is a terrible problem. The water is going to be a worse one."

 

The meeting — which saw commissioners ultimately approve a coastal development permit for the long-awaited safety corridor project — featured some dire warnings of the imminent threat of sea level rise to the low-lying areas of coastal Humboldt County, including the stretch of 101, which one commissioner said has been identified as the "most vulnerable" in the state. The discussion of sea level rise at the meeting was so foreboding, in fact, that one of the state's highest ranking planning officials walked away saying California needs to urgently come up with a multi-agency plan — and a lot of funding — to begin charting a course forward.

 

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The California Coastal Commission went against the recommendation of its staff Thursday and gave the Trinidad Rancheria the go-ahead — or a “conditional concurrence” — to build a five-story hotel on its property off Scenic Drive south of the city.

This means that the Coastal Commission, which is tasked by law with protecting the California coastline, will not stand in the way of the Bureau of Indian Affairs granting the Rancheria a lease and a loan guarantee so that the project can start. The “conditional” part of the concurrence means the commission is giving the Rancheria six months to come up with a reliable water source — either through an agreement with the city of Trinidad or by proving its newly drilled well has the capability to provide the 14,000 gallons of of potable water per day that the hotel will require without draining neighboring wells. According to Trinidad Rancheria CEO Jacque Hostler-Carmini, the well can produce 8,040 gallons per day. 

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