Waters Turning Red?

Don’t worry, folks, Humboldt Bay is supposed to turn red…

Press release from Humboldt County:

cdph_logoCalifornia Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced that a water quality study being performed in Humboldt County may result in portions of Humboldt Bay turning red.

The study, which runs March 14 – 25, 2016, will provide information to protect commercial shellfish growing areas from potential sources of pollution. A similar study was conducted in 2004.

“The goal here is the safety of people who like to eat commercially harvested shellfish, such as oysters, clams and mussels,” said Dr. Smith. “While this may cause the bay to look unusual, the water should return to its natural color within days. The dye is commonly used for these studies and has an excellent safety record.”

The non-toxic, fluorescent dye, Rhodamine WT, will be used near the Arcata and Elk River wastewater treatment plants. Scientists, aboard boats and on the shore, will observe the colored water with instrumentation to see how the currents flow and how the dye is diluted. This will illustrate how water currents and transport of treated wastewater could be affected by proposed improvements to the Arcata Wastewater Treatment Plant, and a proposed move of the plant’s outfall. That information will help CDPH decide where commercial shellfishing can safely be allowed.

“This study will help CDPH protect public health by determining where shellfish can be safely harvested,” said Melissa Martel, director of Humboldt County’s Division of Environmental Health.

Local certified shellfish growers will provide assistance to technical staff from CDPH and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



  • Toxic Toxic Toxic anything eaten from that bay no matter what some governement authority says

  • All the needles,drugs,pee,poop,etc not eating nothing in that bay.what a shame.poor ducks fish wildlife,BUMMER

  • The dye used is made from vegetable matter. These studies are critical to understanding where the tidal currents will take leaked sewage in the event of a failure of one of our treatment facilities. This information is highly valuable to the shellfish farmers of Humboldt Bay in the regulatory process governing the growing areas. The shellfish growing industry is very committed to preserving the water quality we are so dependent on for our livelihoods. We are the eyes that keep watch on potential risks to our Bay. Despite how this looks, it is being done to maintain the high standard of Humboldt Bays, unspoiled waters.

  • bulgarianmegadopegrower@yahoo.com

    Unspoiled? My Bulgarian brothers are pumping so much nitrogen into this area, there’s no way that the bay stays unaffected! It all finds its way down there, don’t eat anything from there if you like to live healthy!

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    The Bay will turn red? Maybe the Pharaoh will let us go now. Trump’s not even president yet. Not good.

  • old town observer

    next week, raining frogs….in a weather study

    Thanks Obama

  • The toxic lumber mills lined the bay making pressure treated lumber . By the way which can’t even be made in ca now at all .Do not eat anything from the bay it’s a toxic mess .Just because some government regulation says it’s safe to eat . Here is an example http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20160219/toxic-hot-spot-near-arcata-could-impact-projects

  • Life is ugly, brutish and short. Try to enjoy your brief stay. Oysters are people too. Be kind

  • Pingback: Dye Tests Performed in Humboldt Bay – Redheaded Blackbelt

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