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!    

August/September 2017

Last month, Heal the Bay’s annual Beach Report Card named Clam Beach the most polluted beach in California due to bacteria levels measured at the mouth of Strawberry Creek. Clam Beach has made the Top Ten “Beach Bummers” list for four years running, but this is the first time it’s been Number One. And this year, Luffenholtz Beach in Trinidad was the eighth most polluted in the state.

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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.

Using Humboldt Baykeeper’s 2005-2009 Citizen Water Monitoring data, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board staff recently recommended six waterways for listing under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act due to bacterial pollution (E. coli).

Photo: Children play in Little River at Moonstone Beach, one of the waterways recommended for listing. March 22, 2014.

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!

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