It is bittersweet to announce that our Executive Director, Pete Nichols, has been promoted to the new Western Regional Director of the Waterkeeper Alliance, Humboldt Baykeeper's parent organization.  His new position at Waterkeeper will take him around the western United States to help other Keepers with logistics, funding, and programs. 

His new promotion is outstanding for him and Humboldt Baykeeper because we will have an excellent local resource to work with on our future programs. Stay tuned for more information on the changes happening at Humboldt Baykeeper and thank you for your continued support - we are very lucky to have such a wonderful community to call home!


The Tigris River is one of the most important bodies of water in the Middle East, but years of extensive toxic dumping and gravel mining have severely compromised its ecosystem. We’ll speak with Humbolt Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols and Nature Iraq founder Dr. Azzam Alwash about efforts to clean up the river and the newly founded group, Upper Tigris Waterkeeper.

Listen to the radio interview from WNYC here.



* A toast to Humboldt Baykeeper and Security National for coming to a rare agreement in the long-drawn-out battle over the Balloon Track. In a rare moment of solidarity, Humboldt Baykeeper and Security National both hailed a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the environmental group over contamination on Eureka's Balloon Track property as a good thing and a step forward for the community.

Filed in 2006, Baykeeper's suit was initially brought against Union Pacific Railroad, but was inherited by Security National when its subsidiary, CUE VI, purchased the Balloon Track property from the railroad company in October 2006 with its sights set on building Marina Center, a 42-acre mixed-use development featuring residential, office and retail space, as well as an 11-acre wetland reserve.

Wednesday, Baykeeper and Security National both announced the settlement and stated they are looking forward to a cleanup of the property.

Security National Vice President Randy Gans called the settlement “a win for the community.”

Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols said Security National and Baykeeper's technical experts will work together to review development and cleanup plans, and that any disagreements will be resolved by a neutral third-party mediator.

We know it's not over until it's over, but this is an encouraging sign.


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The Safe Kids Humboldt Fund was designed to ensure that all kid's in Humboldt County have access to functional, Personal Floatation Devices (PFD's or 'lifejackets'), bike helmets and bike safety gear, and car seats.  In addition, the Fund will support outreach and educational activities designed to educate Humboldt County residents and visitors alike about water safety on North Coast waterways.
For more information, or to contribute to the fund, contact the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) at (707) 442-2993.


An unusual school project will get a local movie debut on Thursday at Arcata Theatre Lounge's monthly Ocean Night.

Arcata Elementary School students took part in a “dynamic project” last June aimed at demonstrating the importance of protecting the oceans and not allowing litter to reach the water, said Allison Poklemba, education program manager for the Arcata Community Recycling Center, a partner in the project.

Students took part in a beach cleanup, collected 6,000 bottles in a plastics collection drive and simulated the Pacific Ocean gyre, or garbage patch, a swirling mass of plastic waste currently residing in the ocean.

”Every student in every grade had an opportunity to learn about how trash impacts our environment and the ocean,” she said.

After the project was completed, Sunny Brae Middle School students put together a 14-minute video on the project called “The Seagull's Dream.” The school planned to send copies of the DVD to other districts in the area to use it as a starting point for discussions, but now it will be put up on the silver screen in Arcata.

The short film will be featured at the Theatre Lounge's Ocean Night, along with “September Sessions” and “A Sheltered Sea: The Journey of the Marine Life Protection Act.” The monthly Ocean Night is sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy, Humboldt Surfrider and Humboldt Baykeeper, and features movies that explore the sea  “from majestic documentaries to epic surf flicks,” according to the Theatre Lounge website.

The school's short documentary of its project is from the point of view of a seagull, narrated by fifth grader Stella Joy. The film covered what students learned about the ocean and litter, and the amount of trash found at local beaches, with a focus on the main project -- stringing a huge spiral of plastic bottles on the field to simulate the large mass of plastic waste already in the Pacific Ocean.

At the film's end, all the students from the school gathered around the spiral of plastic and made a pledge to keep the sea litter free.

”It was really a powerful experience for the kids,” Poklemba said.

Poklemba said she did not realize when they were undertaking the project that it would have a screening at the Theatre Lounge, but it should broaden the reach of the project.

”This is really a bonus,” Poklemba said.

Arcata Elementary School Principal Margaret Flenner said her students are excited the Theatre Lounge will be showing the culmination of their project. Students are now much more aware of the issues that face the Pacific Ocean and the planet, even though many were already familiar with the benefits of recycling. With the video showing at the Arcata theater, she hopes it will help spread the information.

”Kids, when they put the message out, people listen,” Flenner said.


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