12/8/17

 

Former longtime Arcata Community Development Director and Eureka-based consultant Larry Oetker has been named the new executive director of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.

 

The harbor district’s five-member board of commissioners voted 4-1 on Thursday evening — with 1st Division Commissioner Larry Doss dissenting — to appoint Oetker. Oetker is set to start in his new position on Dec. 20 and will receive an annual salary of $110,000, according to 4th Division Commissioner Richard Marks.

 

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11/9/17 

 

State and federal officials are engaged in an intensive planning process for the first auction of zones for development of giant wind farms in the Pacific.

 

But right before the first auction was to be announced, opposition emerged from an unexpected source: the U.S. Navy. After a year and a half of public hearings and outreach by a state-federal task force, the Navy suddenly signaled in August that it would veto the ocean area off San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties that was expected for the first wind farms. What’s more, the Navy claimed the entire offshore zone stretching from Los Angeles north to Big Sur, comprising 36,000 square miles, saying it is needed for military testing and thus is off-limits to wind farms.

 

State and federal officials are negotiating with the Navy to find a solution. But if the Navy refuses to budge, state officials will need to switch to their designated Plan B — a series of potential areas off Sonoma, Humboldt and Del Norte counties, where the Navy has raised no objections. Although interconnection to the grid would be more difficult in these areas, they would be suitable for initial wind farm projects while negotiations continue farther south.

 

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11/13/17

 

Preliminary results are in on California’s grand experiment to reduce plastic bag litter along its majestic coastline and streams.

 

Take a bow, California voters. It’s working.

 

The early litter data from the Coastal Clean-up Day, held annually in September, shows that plastic bag litter had dropped by 72 percent when compared to 2010. Plastic bags now account for less than 1.5 percent of all litter, compared to nearly 10 percent in 2010.

 

In Alameda County, officials reported finding 433 plastic bags, compared to 4,357 in 2010. 

 

Monterey County reported even better news, with volunteers discovering only 43 plastic bags while performing their clean-up efforts, compared to 2,494 in 2010.

 

California is proving that its plastic bag ban stops litter from polluting our waterways and filling up our landfills, demonstrating again the state’s leadership role on environmental issues.

 

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Humboldt Baykeeper warns of chemical runoff on former mill sites

 

10/4/17 - The Arcata-based soil company Royal Gold LLC recently settled a federal civil lawsuit filed by Humboldt Baykeeper that alleged the company allowed harmful chemicals at its Glendale soil mixing facility to contaminate the Mad River and the nearby Mill Creek. The company agreed to make a variety of infrastructure changes to prevent contaminated runoff from entering soil and groundwater.

Operations to be cut by 21 acres; permit extended to 2025


9/14/17

Following months of negotiations, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a permit to allow Coast Seafoods Company to continue its shellfish farming operations in Humboldt Bay through 2025.

The Eureka company’s project was heavily revised this summer to address concerns raised by the commission in June when the company unsuccessfully proposed to expand its 300 acres of oyster and clam farming operations by another 260 acres.

Other special conditions attached to the project included the creation of monitoring plans for eelgrass, black brant and herring in coordination with regulatory agencies; limiting operations during brant hunting season;  monitoring, marking and cleanup of equipment; and creating a plan for transit lanes to reduce potential impacts of boats and barges on wildlife.

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