Rising to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change: 9th Humboldt Bay Symposium - Humboldt State Now

Rising to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change: 9th Humboldt Bay Symposium

On April 11 and 12, the Humboldt Bay Symposium will be held at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka. This year’s symposium, “Rising to Meet the Challenges of Climate Change,” will feature sessions on sea-level rise, ecological restoration, ocean science, and proposed and ongoing economic development in and around Humboldt Bay.

The symposium will provide the public an opportunity to engage directly with scientists, managers, and local experts and learn about the latest developments on a variety of current issues related to Humboldt Bay.

The symposium is open to the public and anyone interested in Humboldt Bay. Admission is $20 per day or $35 for both days (includes lunch). Discounted and free tickets are available for students and student volunteers. The symposium, which is held every two to three years, is convened by the Humboldt Bay Initiative, a group of resource managers, scientists, and community members who come together to address management issues that cross disciplines and to link science and management for the Humboldt Bay ecosystem. The Humboldt State University Sponsored Programs Foundation is a major sponsor of this year’s Symposium.
Program Highlights

On Thursday, April 11, the morning session will focus on preparing for sea-level rise; presentations include the adaptation plan for the Eureka Slough area, research on sand dune vulnerability, sediment supply to salt marshes, studying and conserving Wiyot traditional cultural plants, guidance from the Coastal Commission on adaptation, and efforts to model coastal storms into the future and the risks they pose to the North Coast in combination with sea-level rise.
The session on Thursday afternoon will delve into recent and ongoing restoration efforts at various locations including the Jacoby Creek watershed, the Ocean Ranch Unit of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Eel River Wildlife Area. There will also be talks on a petition for Mad River water rights, dealing with excessive sediment in the Elk River and restoring its tidal lower reaches, efforts to eradicate invasive reeds in PALCO marsh and invasive cordgrass throughout the Bay, and the creation of a living shoreline at White Slough.

The morning session on Friday, April 12th will feature a wide range of research on Humboldt Bay and the coastal ocean including efforts to monitor krill and ocean conditions, the effect of marine protected area designation on nearshore rocky reefs, the life history and results of habitat restoration in coho salmon, and eelgrass distribution and ocean acidification in Humboldt Bay. There will also be presentations on monitoring eelgrass distribution via drone to achieve high-resolution spatial data over a large area; combining river otter citizen art and science; and efforts to mitigate tsunami hazard.

Friday afternoon’s session will include an update on Humboldt Bay Harbor District projects as well as dredging of the Eureka Public Marina. Other presentations will cover the recently completed Fishing Community Sustainability Plan for Eureka, the proposal by Nordic Aquafarms for a large fish farm at the Harbor District’s Marine Terminal II, the proposed development of offshore wind energy, and the status and progress on recreational trails in our region. The Symposium also features presentations and posters by several faculty and other researchers from Humboldt State University.

After the presentations on Friday, there will be a poster session with refreshments held in the Bay Room of the Wharfinger Building from 4:30–6:00pm. Symposium attendees can examine posters and speak with presenters on a variety of interesting topics including the importance of the Bay for non-breeding shorebirds, managing storm water in urban watersheds around the Bay, coastal cutthroat trout and their response to Eel River estuary restoration projects, 3-D modeling of circulation in the Bay, and the role of the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment.

To view the full program and register for the symposium, please visit:

The Humboldt Bay Symposium is organized by the Humboldt Bay Initiative, an informal collaboration of local stakeholders including scientists, agency staff, Tribes, non-profits, local government officials, and other professionals as well as interested community members working together to plan and carry out ecosystem-based management of Humboldt Bay. In contrast to natural resource management that focuses on a single species or issue, ecosystem-based management includes consideration of all interacting components within an ecosystem.

The Humboldt Bay Initiative facilitates communication among its many participants, improving coordination of efforts, information sharing, and identification of partners for collaborative projects. Its associated non-profit, the Coastal Ecosystems Institute of Northern California is the fiscal sponsor for the symposium and was established in 2011 to promote ecosystem-based management in our region of the coast through collaborative applied research, planning, management, and stakeholder outreach. These two groups work together to coordinate scientific, management, and conservation efforts to achieve better ecological outcomes. Humboldt State’s Sponsored Programs Foundation is a major sponsor of this year’s Symposium, as well.

Find out more information about the Humboldt Bay Symposium and go to the event’s Facebook page.