Since 2005, our Water Quality Program has documented conditions of local streams and sloughs to identify problem areas for future monitoring and to pinpoint pollution sources so we can work to reduce or eliminate them. Thanks to the dozens of dedicated volunteers and partners who help make our program successful!
But after years of research, we now have a better sense of the source of this pollution thanks to a new study by Humboldt County's Public Health Lab Manager, Dr. Jeremy Corrigan.
In short, Dr. Corrigan’s research identified birds as the primary source of pollution at Clam Beach, while cattle are the main source upstream in Strawberry Creek.
"Clam Beach is frequented by birds, which adds to the allure of its location and should be celebrated not feared." from Corrigan et al. Microbial Source Tracking Approach to Investigate Fecal Waste at the Strawberry Creek Watershed and Clam Beach, California, USA. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6901.
This winter, we continued our bacteria pollution study with the goal of identifying the sources of fecal bacteria at six sites in Jolly Giant Creek in Arcata. This Humboldt Bay tributary was flagged for further investigation due to the frequency of human genetic material in samples taken near Samoa Blvd. during the Regional Water Board's Coastal Streams Pathogens TMDL Project.
COVID-19 update: Our sampling event scheduled for April 6 has been delayed due to both safety concerns and limited lab capacity. Our extraordinairy colleagues at the Humboldt County Public Health Lab are working diligently to analyze COVID-19 samples. We will resume our Jolly Giant Creek Bacteria Source Study as soon as it is safe to do so.
Humboldt Baykeeper works with Dr. Margarita Otero-Diaz, an Assistant Professor at Humboldt State University's Environmental Resources Engineering Department, and her students to design and implement water quality monitoring projects in local waterways.
In Spring 2021, students Claire Bareilles, Katherine Hardaker, and Caleb Wegener monitored water quality at five sites in two Humboldt Bay tributaries (Jacoby Creek and Martin Slough).
They presented their findings at the 12th annual CSU Water Resources and Policy Initiatives Conference.
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