It started, as you remember, with a Lost Coast Outpost reader sending along a photo of some pink gunk on the shore of a King Salmon canal and asking: What is this stuff?


Readers had their theories: Algae. Bacteria. Crabs. Krill. Nuclear waste.


And then the most amazing thing happened. Yesterday, during KHUM’s regular “Coastal Currents” program, Humboldt Baykeeper Executive Director told KHUM’s Mike Dronkers that she had put together a crack team to investigate the mystery. Last night she sent us amazing images from a digital microscope at an HSU lab, along with a precis of her team’s methodology.


The Eureka City Council on Friday approved a resolu­tion to allow the city to apply for a $295,000 Caltrans grant that would go toward a rail feasibility study.

The council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Linda Atkins dissenting, to go forward with the grant application. Atkins said the matter, which was approved in a special meeting announced Thursday, should have been given more public notice.

Volunteers across California gain insight into sea level rise by documenting the year's highest tides


When a “king tide” hit the local coastline Thursday — an unusually high tide caused by solar and lunar gravita­tional pull — the result was submerged streets in King Salmon, flooded cow pas­tures and inundated shore­lines on Indian Island.

National Weather Service spokesman Troy Nicolini said the lowest areas in King Salmon could be hit again today, with especially strong southerly winds pushing water onto the shore.

“The wind pushes water onto the coast, which exacer­bates the astronomical tides,” he said.

8.8 foot high tide predicted Thursday


Humboldt County’s lowest-lying areas are likely to get wet next week, with a second round of “king tides” scheduled to hit the coast.

Streets in King Salmon were submerged, cow pastures were flooded and shorelines on Indian Island were inundated last month when the unusually high tides — caused by solar and lunar gravita­tional pull at times of the year when the moon is closest to the Earth — struck.

The tides are expected to be even larger this month, reaching their peak at 8.8 feet Thurs­day afternoon, ab­out three inches more than the highest tides seen in November.

National Weather Service spokesman Troy Nicolini said the good news is the tides aren’t expect­ed to cause serious coastal flooding.

“We really get into trouble when we have these astro­nomical tides plus a storm surge,” Nicol­ini said. “Right now we aren’t predicting any surges, like last week’s storm, that would cause really big flooding.” Nicolini said the conditions could always change, so residents should remember to check weather advisories again next week.

Margaret Smith, a King Salmon resident for over 45 years, said although Thursday’s 8.8 foot tide has her a little concerned, she knows she’ll be fine.

The 83-year-old said she is used to her yard looking like a swimming pool, and that it’s been happening as long as she can remember.

“I’ve been through the floods before,” she said. “We have sandbags lined up against the garage just in case, but I have never seen water come into the house. Heck, I’m not too worried. I have a boat.”

Humboldt Baykeepers volunteers will again be joining forces with federal, state and non­profit agency volunteers to capture images of coastal areas across California flooded by high tides.

More than two dozen local volunteers turned out last month to document the effect king tides had on Humboldt County.

By capturing images of the high water events, volunteers and environmental agencies across the state hope to provide insight into how rising sea levels will impact coastal areas in the future.

The grassroots effort, the King Tides Initiative Program, began in the Bay Area in 2009 to help educate the public about the coastal shoreline and rising sea level.

What are King tides?

They are extreme high tide events that occur when the solar and lunar gravitational forces reinforce one another at times of the year when the moon is closest to the Earth.

For those worried about their proper­ty flooding due to the high tides, the National Weather Service offers free sandbag training. For more information call 443-6484.



The next round of king tides are expected Dec. 12-14.

If you have a camera or smartphone, and would like more information on how to get involved with local documentation efforts, contact Humboldt Baykeepers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 268-8897. Humboldt Baykeepers asks that volunteers remember to be safe and smart when taking photos.

Photos can also be uploaded directly to the California King Tides Flickr group at www.flickr.com/groups/cakingtides/.


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Do you know why the eelgrass beds of Humboldt Bay are so important to the Pacific Coast? Thanks in part to the William Adrian and Lillian Robinson Memorial Fund, you can find out while enjoying a free guided tour onboard a 25-foot Boston Whaler.

Launching most weekends through the summer and fall, trained Humboldt Baykeeper volunteers share the maritime history and ecological information about Humboldt Bay with neighbors, students and friends. This was just one of many programs funded throughout the region with a “Field of Interest” grant.