The county is looking at ways to protect coastal communities on Humboldt Bay threatened by rising sea levels and aging dikes. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to support a recent application for a $250,000 Coastal Conservancy grant that would allow nonprofit Coastal Ecosystems Institute of Northern California to adapt planning and technical studies associated with sea level rise in Humboldt Bay.
Aldaron Laird of Trinity Associates said at Tuesday’s meeting that the first phase of the project — the first comprehensive mapping of Humboldt Bay, funded by the Coastal Conservancy — was complete. Seventy-five percent of Humboldt Bay’s 102 mile shoreline is artificial, Laird said, meaning it needs maintenance.
Laird said Humboldt Bay has the highest rate of sea level rise on the West Coast and showed examples of crumbling dikes and shoreline areas that already flood yearly.
Harbor district Director of Conservation Division Dan Berman said it was an important issue for the district, adding that even if sea level rise goes more slowly than expected, it’s already a problem on the bay.