Billions of fish and hundreds of protected species are killed each year by power plants' water intakes, which federal agencies allow in defiance of laws, environmentalists claim in court.

The Sierra Club and seven other environmental groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Nov. 20 in Federal Court.

They claim the defendants issued biological surveys supporting a rule authorizing water cooling intake structures at thousands of power plants, though the systems kill billions of fish each year.


Facing a backlash from a small group of conservatives, Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg has withdrawn his appointment of environmentalist Jen Kalt to the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee (McKMAC).


Kalt’s appointment to the McKMAC was previously heralded by Sundberg as an effort to bring balance to the McKinleyville committee.


But soon after his Oct. 7 announcement of the appointment, Sundberg began hearing grumblings from conservative individuals, whom he declined to name. 


Deciding on a new appointment to the McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee (McKMAC), Supervisor Ryan Sundberg has said he is striving for balance to ensure the committee’s recommendations have credibility.


At the Oct. 7 Board of Supervisors meeting, Sundberg announced that Committee Member Tim Hooven will be resigning and Jen Kalt of Humboldt Baykeeper will be his replacement.


The North Coast Regional Wa­ter Quality Board on Thursday recommended that six local wa­terways be federally listed as im­paired due to high fecal bacteria concentrations, paving the way for those streams and rivers to obtain government-backed pol­lution control plans. “I’m pleased that the regional board took this action, which is a first step to addressing water quality impairments in the North Coast region,” board Executive Of­ficer Matt St. John said.


The North Coast regional water board has sounded the alarm. After examining nine years of data gathered by Humboldt Baykeeper, a nonprofit environmental watchdog group, the board is moving to ask California for help.

The problem? Six local waterways -- Little River, Widow White Creek, Martin Slough, Elk River, Jolly Giant Creek and Campbell Creek -- have alarming levels of fecal bacteria. At least one, Jolly Giant, has recent samples showing over 600 times the acceptable level under state regulations. The source? Unknown. Suspects include septic failures, leaky pipes, ag runoff, pets and transient camps.