Though not always the most exciting topics in the news, our local infrastructure and planning are extremely important in conserving and protecting our natural as well as human environments. Volunteers of the NEC and BayKeeper work tirelessly to wade through long documents and attend public meetings and hearings on the behalf of our community. Here are some recent posts regarding the Humbold 101 corridor, Humboldt Bay Harbor Dredging and Sea Level Rise. Thank you for all of the hard work and information!
It’s a perfect time of year to see Grey Whales! They migrate south past Humboldt shores in September-January to give birth and the warmer waters off the shores of Baja. Now they are leading their calves back to Arctic waters. They migrate north in the months of March through June. They travel 70-80 miles per day and tend to travel in groups of two to six. You are most likely to spot the whales from high cliffs overlooking the ocean, Trinidad Head and Patrick's Point State Park are two great locations for whale watching.
Active for next 17 hours · National Weather Service
* Flood Warning for...
Northern Mendocino County in northwestern California...
Southwestern Trinity County in northwestern California...
Southern Humboldt County in northwestern California...
* Some locations that will experience flooding include...
Shelter Cove, Richardson Grove State Park, Covelo, Grizzly Creek
Redwoods State Park, Garberville, Laytonville, Honeydew, Hayfork,
Rio Dell, Leggett, Dinsmore, Forest Glen, Whitehorn, Carlotta,
Bridgeville, Alderpoint, Peanut, Scotia, Pepperwood and Petrolia.
Small streams and creeks will remain elevated through this afternoon
in the Mattole River Basin, Bear Creek Basin, and numerous other
small basins near the coast. Widespread ponding water will affect
low lying areas during periods of heavy rainfall and over topping
creeks will cause localized flooding. Culverts blocked by debris
will lead to localized flooding in many locations.
Please be safe out there. Here are links to information
Remember that our region also has landslides and trees become uprooted in saturated soils as well. Environmental planners and resource agencies work hard to keep everyone safe and keep buildings out of flood zones, but many historic structures are in areas prone to flooding. An increase in impervious surface (roads, structures) in addition to loss of wetlands and riparian vegetation as well as more extreme weather due to climate increases the risk of catastrophic flooding. Many locals still remember the 1964 floods, but if you have not seen the amount of force behind our magnificent rivers please check it out. There are numerous sources including these posts from the Times Standard and North Coast Journals.
The Western Section of the Wildlife Society is an excellent way to learn more about and engage with local wildlife biologists and environmental scientists. TWS recognizes the importance of wildlife diversity, research and education and offers a wide-ranging list of courses, publications and social gatherings. TWS is working to promote more human diversity as well with a diversity committee.
The committee recognizes that diversity stems from not only ethnic and gender composition, but also cultural heritage, life and career experiences, economic backgrounds and abilities.They are committed to continuing efforts to attract, encourage, and fully develop talent from the full range of members.
The goals of the Western Section Diversity Committee are to:
Engage youth to encourage interest in wildlife, conservation, and the field of wildlife biology;
foster a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for members of the society from underrepresented groups to achieve professional development;
and increase awareness of the value of human diversity to the society and field at large.
Check out their latest post and short video!
Recently there was a presentation at the Sunrise Rotary Club in Arcata regarding the use of drones near pelagic bird colonies and the disruption and stress it is causing to many nesting species. The drones often fly to close, stress the birds and often they fly off of nests, leaving them open to predation. The Audobon society has written on various ways drones are affecting bird species.
On the most recent Wildlife Society newsletter, an article in National Geographic titled “Viral bear video shows dark side of filming animals with drones” . It clearly shows a mother bear and cub climbing a difficult and treacherous snowy mountain. The cub falls a bit and is almost back up when the drone startles the bears, and the tiny cub falls again, almost to his death.
The cub does make it back up to his anxious mother, the these interactions of drones and wildlife are happening more often, frequently through simple ignorance and carelessness.
Drones have been useful for environmental science and biology, as have other tools like wildlife cameras and tracking devices. The tools can also be disturbing and detrimental. Please be aware of any observation that you conduct and help spread awareness of the use of drones and impacts to wildlife.
Through the Western Section of the The Wildlife Society we were able to attend a workshop for the Ecology and Field Methods for the study of bats. During our habitat assessments for projects, we encounter numerous local bat species which are listed Species of Special Concern (SSC) by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; California Public Resources Code §§ 21000-21177) requires State agencies, local governments, and special districts to evaluate and disclose impacts from "projects" in the State. Section 15380 of the CEQA Guidelines clearly indicates that species of special concern should be included in an analysis of project impacts if they can be shown to meet the criteria of sensitivity outlined therein.
This workshop combined lecture, discussion, and field exercises regarding ecology and conservation of California bats, covering species accounts, physiology, anatomy, behavioral ecology, conservation issues, and mitigation strategies. We employed field techniques of mist-netting, assessing species presence or absence, and acoustic monitoring to gain hands-on experience in monitoring and analysis. During evening field excursions we typically captured a half dozen bat species and, for those with proof of current rabies vaccination, we were allowed practice in extracting, handling, as well as collecting and recording data from captured bats. The following is a list of bats in Humboldt County that are commonly observed.
Scientific Name Common Name
Antrozous pallidus pallid bat
Corynorhinus townsendii Townsend's big-eared bat
Lasionycteris noctivagans silver-haired bat
Lasiurus blossevillii western red bat
Lasiurus cinereus hoary bat
Myotis evotis long-eared myotis
Myotis thysanodes fringed myotis
Myotis volans long-legged myotis
Myotis yumanensis Yuma myotis
Find your own ways to learn more about these creatures, which are extrememly important for pest-control and ecology. Here are some links to get you started!
The Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC) organizes a number of events, but the Coastal Cleanup Day is one of the easiest and most rewarding events. Please check out NorCal Beach Clean Initiative for things you can do every day to keep our beaches clean as well. We finally "Adopted a Block" and will pick up cigarette butts around our block and pick up receptacles that they provide us. @norcalbeachclean @your_nec
"Coastal cleanups are important for our beaches, rivers, estuaries and our local coastal environment. Human beings have continuously degraded those habitats for all life forms, including plants and animals with their wasteful, trashy ways.
Our North Coast coastline is one of California’s biggest assets, whether it be for recreation, production, water, or life; all of this depends on the health of our watersheds, beaches and coastal environment. It is predicted that by 2050 plastic and trash will outnumber fish in the ocean. If the public keeps polluting these ecosystems, it isn’t just humans that suffer the consequences, but the entire ecosystem. Wildlife frequently mistake debris as food and it has become an increasing trend to find marine life with stomachs full of plastic. Another common occurrence is to find animals entangled in derelict fishing gear or trash.
We need coastal cleanups not only to clean up our beaches and help our wildlife, but to show our representatives what type of trash and how much trash is washing up on our beaches. Knowing what and how much waste is washing up on our beaches helps us to get local ordinances and even legislation passed that can help reduce the amount of trash entering our oceans. We have been able to show our representatives and the manufactures that we do not want products that are damaging the environment in our day to day lives. We hope that with this wave of eco-consumerism we will be able to effect change to create a more environmentally conscious community.
The Northcoast Environmental Center got their start in beach cleanups with the Beach Beautification Project in 1979. Within the first nine days of the program over 2,300 pounds of debris were removed from Humboldt County beaches, and by the end of the first year over 34,000 pounds had been picked up along 110 miles of Humboldt coastline. The California Coastal Commission estimates that over 20 million pounds of trash have been picked up over the past 35 years statewide. We continue this tradition through our Adopt-A-Beach program, Coastal Cleanup Day and various other beach cleanups."
Plugging in to your local botanical community and learning about native species.
Our area is full of amazing naturalists, artists and writers. We will be adding some of these links to our "Get Involved" tab. For now, here are a couple of blogs with beautiful photos and a plethora of fascinating information. Inspiring and Motivational work.
Anthony Westkamper's entomological adventures (HUMBUG) on Sundays is a wonderful way to get acquainted for our local insect species. Here is a recent post on butterflies and wasps.
Mike Kelly writes about his adventures as a fish/marine biologist on the coasts of Northern California and all of the biological treasures he finds along the shoreline (WASHED UP) in Humboldt which is also on the North Coast Journal.
Both of these can be found by selecting the "Life and Outdoors" section of the North Coast Journal.
We will start moving into our office space in Arcata on May 1st! We received our paperwork for our LLC from the state and will be fully licensed, insured and permitted. Our next step will be registering as a women-owned small business with the federal government and applying to work for both state and federal governments. We will also be focusing on outreach so you will be seeing us at local chamber meetings and other networking events. Stay tuned for our office warming party!