It is bittersweet to announce that our Executive Director, Pete Nichols, has been promoted to the new Western Regional Director of the Waterkeeper Alliance, Humboldt Baykeeper's parent organization.  His new position at Waterkeeper will take him around the western United States to help other Keepers with logistics, funding, and programs. 

His new promotion is outstanding for him and Humboldt Baykeeper because we will have an excellent local resource to work with on our future programs. Stay tuned for more information on the changes happening at Humboldt Baykeeper and thank you for your continued support - we are very lucky to have such a wonderful community to call home!


The Tigris River is one of the most important bodies of water in the Middle East, but years of extensive toxic dumping and gravel mining have severely compromised its ecosystem. We’ll speak with Humbolt Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols and Nature Iraq founder Dr. Azzam Alwash about efforts to clean up the river and the newly founded group, Upper Tigris Waterkeeper.

Listen to the radio interview from WNYC here.


One morning last September Pete Nichols of Humboldt Baykeeper was up early working, listening to the radio in the background. Something on the BBC news caught his attention.

“I heard an interview with this Iraqi, Azzam Alwash, talking about his [river] restoration work for an organization called Nature Iraq.” Nichols recalled. “It was this fantastic story of restoring the wetlands that were supposedly the Garden of Eden.”

He decided to learn more. Now, six months later, Nichols is catching a plane to the Middle East — destination Iraq. He leaves this week to go meet Azzam Alwash in person.

Nichols established Humboldt Baykeeper seven years ago as part of the larger Waterkeeper Alliance, an advocacy organization started 15 years ago by Robert Kennedy Jr., initially bringing together likeminded groups on the East Coast. “The Hudson Riverkeeper group was the genesis of it all; that was started by commercial fishermen in the ‘60s,” said Nichols. “There are 192 groups right now, nationally and internationally.” And the next may be Waterkeeper Iraq.

Since Nichols serves on the Waterkeeper board, he’s among those responsible for what are known as site visits, basically checking out new chapters before they are brought into the fold. One such visit took him to China two years ago; this one is a bit different.


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The Safe Kids Humboldt Fund was designed to ensure that all kid's in Humboldt County have access to functional, Personal Floatation Devices (PFD's or 'lifejackets'), bike helmets and bike safety gear, and car seats.  In addition, the Fund will support outreach and educational activities designed to educate Humboldt County residents and visitors alike about water safety on North Coast waterways.
For more information, or to contribute to the fund, contact the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) at (707) 442-2993.



* A toast to Humboldt Baykeeper and Security National for coming to a rare agreement in the long-drawn-out battle over the Balloon Track. In a rare moment of solidarity, Humboldt Baykeeper and Security National both hailed a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the environmental group over contamination on Eureka's Balloon Track property as a good thing and a step forward for the community.

Filed in 2006, Baykeeper's suit was initially brought against Union Pacific Railroad, but was inherited by Security National when its subsidiary, CUE VI, purchased the Balloon Track property from the railroad company in October 2006 with its sights set on building Marina Center, a 42-acre mixed-use development featuring residential, office and retail space, as well as an 11-acre wetland reserve.

Wednesday, Baykeeper and Security National both announced the settlement and stated they are looking forward to a cleanup of the property.

Security National Vice President Randy Gans called the settlement “a win for the community.”

Baykeeper Executive Director Pete Nichols said Security National and Baykeeper's technical experts will work together to review development and cleanup plans, and that any disagreements will be resolved by a neutral third-party mediator.

We know it's not over until it's over, but this is an encouraging sign.


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