Since 2005, Humboldt Baykeeper’s Citizen Water Monitoring Program has sampled streams from Elk River to Little River. This year, we focused on Jolly Giant Creek in Arcata to try to pinpoint sources of fecal coliform. Jolly Giant Creek has shown consistently high fecal coliform levels in our past monitoring events, and is thought to be a major contributor to fecal coliform levels in Humboldt Bay.


Thanks to Todd Kraemer of Pacific Watershed Associates; Kerry McNamee, Anthony Baker and Racquel Selcer of Humboldt State University; funding from the Cereus Fund and Humboldt Area Foundation; and all of our past and present Citizen Water Monitors—too many to list here!


First Flush brought approximately 1.23” of rain on October 16 in Arcata. On October 10, we collected dry weather samples in partnership with Humboldt State University students.


We sampled E. coli levels at 5 sites representing a range of land uses, including forested areas, a restored section of creek, former industrial areas, and residential areas. These samples were analyzed for E. coli levels by North Coast Laboratories in Arcata, and will also be analyzed at Humboldt State University using molecular techniques to identify source animals based on gene sequencing. During First Flush, we found the highest concentrations of E. coli in the downstream sites (see graph).


Through these efforts we hope to identify sources and eventually develop solutions that could reduce or eliminate this form of water pollution.


Click HERE to download the water sampling results.

For more info, contact jkalt AT