Humboldt Bay at Highest Risk of Sea Level Rise on the U.S.West Coast

Humboldt Bay Sea Level RisePress release from Humboldt County:

Humboldt Bay is at the highest risk of sea level rise on the entire U.S. west coast. The County has completed a sea level rise vulnerability assessment indicating three communities are at risk of being inundated by sea level rise. Nearly 400 residential parcels are vulnerable in the unincorporated communities of King Salmon, Fields Landing, and Fairhaven.

Community members will have the opportunity to learn about local sea level rise and participate in planning conversations at two public workshops focused on these three communities. The first workshop will be for the communities of King Salmon and Fields Landing on Tuesday, August 7 at 6 pm at the Humboldt Agricultural Center, 5630 South Broadway in Eureka. The second workshop will be for the community of Fairhaven on Tuesday, August 14 at 6 pm at the Samoa Women’s Club, 115 Rideout Ave, Samoa. Refreshments will be provided.

Local sea level rise planner Aldaron Laird of Trinity Associates will present the results of the vulnerability assessment and lead the discussion.

“The first thing we want to do is educate the people who live there, own property there, have a business there or just use those areas recreationally. By 2040, King Salmon could be tidally inundated at least eight times a year, and that’s most of the residential lots. That’s going to be problematic with the existing development in King Salmon,” Laird said. “There’s a limited amount of time; by 2070, King Salmon and Fields Landing could be inundated on a daily basis by mean high water. And it’s not just these three communities with something at risk. By 2100, the PG&E power generating plant is expected to be tidally inundated on a monthly basis, and that would affect all of us.”

Residents, property owners, business owners, utility service providers, stakeholders and other interested community members are encouraged to participate in the workshops. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion of potential adaptation strategies.

“The first thing that needs to be explored is how can we protect these existing communities?” Laird said.

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