Humboldt Bay is about to undergo a transformation that will turn the struggling port into a hub for offshore wind development.
On Wednesday, the California Energy Commission announced it was awarding $10.5 million to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District to complete the preliminary work, like site surveys and environmental impact assessments, to renovate 168 acres from the Samoa Bridge to the former pulp mill on the peninsula. That includes a new heavy lift marine terminal and 600,000 square feet of new manufacturing space.
“Overall it’s a couple $100 million projects,” Larry Oetker, director of the Humboldt Bay harbor district, told The Times-Standard. “The initial $10 million will get us all the permits and all the environmental review. It will get it to the point where you could actually start building the terminal.”
The Humboldt Bay Offshore Wind Heavy Lift Marine Terminal would have the capacity to manufacture the towers that support the wind turbines and the floating platforms they would rest upon.
Editor:In a complex world, it's often tempting to boil things down to two sides: right or wrong, for or against (the "Bring It On" letter, Mailbox, Feb. 10). It's much easier than taking the time to study an issue closely before forming an opinion. From an environmental activist's perspective, there are three types of projects. There's the "totally unacceptable," like the proposed coal train (these are the issues that most often make news headlines). There are "bring it on" projects, like the plan to build the Eureka Regional Transit and Housing Center (aka EaRTH Center) on an Old Town parking lot. Then there are projects that could be done without harm to the environment if done right — but if done poorly, they could have major impacts. Nordic Aquafarms' proposed fish farm at the former pulp mill is an example of this type of project. There are potential benefits, including the jobs Ms. Aguiar hopes for, along with the cleanup of a major contaminated industrial site. Humboldt Baykeeper staff, volunteers, interns and our colleagues at EPIC, CRTP, 350 Humboldt, Surfrider and NEC have spent countless hours over the past three years poring over technical documents, meeting with Nordic and its experts to understand the project, asking questions and suggesting improvements. Some changes have been made, while others have not. We still think the project can be done with fewer impacts but still needs quite a bit of improvement. We'll keep working on it.Jennifer Kalt, McKinleyville