Last week, U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-02) visited Egypt as part of the congressional delegation for the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 27.

Huffman was able to share the progress Humboldt County has made on its proposed offshore wind farm, which he supports, but noted that Humboldt County also needs to focus on forest and coastal resilience in addition to mitigating the effects of sea level rise and maintaining healthy, carbon-sequestering soils.

“No one should wait for the UN, or Congress or any other institution at the national or global level to solve this problem. We don’t have time for that,” Huffman said. “Frankly, even the best agreements at those levels are going to need people and communities at the sub-national level doing their part.”

Every year since the Paris Agreement, the unenforceable 2016 pledge from many nations, including the largest polluters, has seen record-setting temperatures across the world.

In Humboldt County, climate change presents a physical and financial threat to residents in addition to the hazards faced by wildlife. High levels of toxic domoic acid in 2014 delayed Dungeness crabbing season and increased whale entanglements when the season opened later than usual during the whales’ migratory period, said Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper, a local environmental nonprofit.

“That led to new regulations for crabbing, which was arguably the last reliable commercial fishery for the Humboldt Bay fishing fleet,” Kalt said.
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