Humboldt Bay is the second largest estuary in California, and the Mad River is the fifth largest river in the State. Their connected watersheds support hundreds of species of birds, fish, shellfish, and mammals, including many protected and culturally-important species. With this grant, Humboldt Baykeeper seeks to advance the two most pressing water quality issues in the region: non-point source bacteria pollution and legacy dioxin contamination. Humboldt Baykeeper has made tremendous progress on these issues in recent years through on the ground water quality monitoring. However, more work remains to be done to restore water quality and aquatic habitat. Although the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is responsible for protecting area water quality, it has been extremely slow to address bacteria and dioxin pollution in that region, and a recovery plan for dioxin has been delayed without explanation. This grant will support Humboldt Baykeeper’s administrative advocacy in front of the Water Board as well as allow Baykeeper to continue its science-based research in wetland, riparian, and estuarine habitats. In particular, the grant will be used to support several analytical projects including the Humboldt Bay Dioxin Site Investigation and Restoration Initiative. The funding will also help to expand bacteria monitoring in five Humboldt Bay tributaries. Humboldt Baykeeper will use these sampling results to convince state regulators to take action and complete the regulatory actions needed to curb these pollutants from entering Humboldt Bay.
Humboldt Bay and Mad River Toxics and Water Quality Initiative
California Watershed Protection Fund, 2019
Toxics/Environmental Health and Justice