Humboldt Baykeeper offers kayak and motor boat tours of Humboldt Bay and Elk River to a variety of community groups from May to October, connecting people to Humboldt Bay who would otherwise not be able to experience being out on the water. Many residents simply cannot afford the equipment and maintenance costs associated with boating. 

In 2019, we led eight community group tours with a wide variety of partners, including English Express, a non-profit English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) school; Camp Cooper, the City of Eureka’s summer day camp for youth; The Studio & Canvas + Clay, an art program for adults with varying abilities; Gaining Ground and Butler Valley, residential and day programs for adults with developmental disabilities; the Humboldt County Library Summer Reading Program; the Community Access Program for Eureka; and Serenity Inn, a transitional housing facility in Eureka.

For our motorboat tours, we partner with the owners and operators of the H/V Madaket, a historic vessel that offers public natural history tours, sunset “Booze Cruises,” and private charter tours of Humboldt Bay. For kayak tours and trash cleanups on Tuluwat Island, we work with the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, which supplies kayaks, all the necessary gear, and certified guides who provide paddling lessons and accompany the group for a safe and fun outing. 

We also organized two volunteer kayak-based trash cleanups on Earth Day and Coastal Cleanup Day in partnership with the Wiyot Tribe and Coast Seafoods Company, although the Earth Day cleanup was unfortunately cancelled due to high winds. In September, nearly 30 volunteers (including Coast Seafoods’ employees) removed hundreds of pounds of trash from Tuluwat Island, including tires and other debris that wash up with high tides or fall from the Samoa Bridge.

One of the greatest rewards of implementing this program is being able to provide an experience of a lifetime for many people who have never experienced Humboldt Bay from the water. Developing relationships with community groups has built trust, encouraging people to join tours in a safe environment that may not exist for them at public tours and events.

Thanks to the Cereus Fund of the Trees Foundation, California Coastal Conservancy, and Humboldt Area Foundation for funding the Bay Tours Program, which makes these tours possible, along with our community partners who make our Bay Tours Program a success!