Eureka city officials caused a bit of a stir last week after alerting the community to a report spotlighting significant levels of COVID-19 in the city’s wastewater. The report indicated Eureka has higher concentrations of COVID-19 in its wastewater than nearly anywhere else in the United States.

While data is limited, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no evidence to suggest someone could become sick with COVID-19 due to wastewater exposure.“Recently, ribonucleic acid from the virus that causes COVID- 19 has been found in untreated wastewater,” according to the CDC website. “While data are limited, there is little evidence of infectious virus in wastewater. … Standard practices associated with wastewater treatment plant operations should be sufficient to protect wastewater workers from the virus that causes COVID-19.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, wastewater treatment plants treat viruses and other pathogens, including COVID-19.

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Press release from the City of Eureka:
The City of Eureka has been notified of a higher-than-average concentration of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in wastewater flowing to the City’s wastewater treatment plant. Samples from the plant, which serves the greater Eureka area including Myrtletown, Cutten, and Pine Hill, were collected via the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS), a federal program designed to help public health officials monitor COVID-19 spread. Out of all samples submitted nationwide in the last six weeks, local wastewater contained concentrations higher than 99% of all samples.
This report coincides with last Friday’s Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services announcement that cited that the county experienced its highest single day case count of confirmed COVID-19 last week and yesterday’s subsequent announcement that more than 90 additional cases were confirmed since last week’s report.
To view the full biobot report, visit this link

For more information about COVID-19 conditions locally, including where to get vaccinated, visit this link.
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A new study on high tide flooding predicts that the mid-2030s could be catastrophically wet in U.S. coastal regions — and it could stay that way for an entire decade.

Led by members of the NASA Sea Level Change Team from the University of Hawaii, the study says that high tide flooding could happen more frequently on several U.S. coasts. Flooding at high tide, often called nuisance flooding, already occurs with regularity in many coastal communities as water routinely sloshes into streets, yards and businesses.

Two factors could converge to worsen flooding at high tide, the study says: rising sea levels fueled by climate change — and the moon.

The moon's orbit is due for its regular "wobble." That is entirely natural, NASA says, and it has been recorded as far back as 1728. Half of the moon's 18.6-year cycle creates lower high tides and higher low tides; the other creates higher high tides and even lower low tides.

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Local officials and community members joined Nordic Aquafarms representatives for a site tour of the proposed onshore fish farm at the defunct Samoa pulp mill facility Thursday. The Norway-based seafood company launched the tour series last week in an effort to address community concerns surrounding the project.

Earlier this year, Nordic agreed to pursue an environmental impact report for the project in response to calls for further environmental analysis.

Although the Humboldt County Planning and Building Department had already released a mitigated negative declaration for the project, a coalition of environmental groups argued that the assessment didn’t go far enough, citing concerns of energy use, fish feed, fish waste disposal, water use and transportation impacts.

If all goes according to plan, Naess said the EIR will be out for public review in September.

“Then it goes for a 45-day public comment period and then, of course, we will need to respond to everything,” she said. “Then hopefully we will receive the final approval. Depending on whether or not it’s appealed, the project would go before the Board of Supervisors.”

Those interested in scheduling a tour of the project site can contact local liaison Lynette Mullen via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is close to opening up the coast for competitive bids for development. What is in store for Humboldt County? Matthew Marshall from the Redwood Coast Energy Authority joins Gang Green on the latest EcoNews Report to discuss.

Click HERE to listen to this episode. 

The EcoNews Report is a weekly environmental news roundup produced in Arcata, California by Environmental Protection Information Center, Northcoast Environmental Center, Friends of the Eel River, and Humboldt Baykeeper.

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