A lot is happening in Humboldt climate news, and here are some of the things we’re keeping up with:
First, we want to thank those who wrote county planners asking for more environmental review of Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed salmon farm on the Samoa Peninsula. Your input certainly prompted the company’s wise decision to complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on its project. We hope the EIR will go a long way toward answering questions like how the salmon farm will satisfy its massive electricity demand, equivalent to a city roughly the size of Arcata, and in identifying other impacts and (we hope) adequate mitigations. A top priority for 350 Humboldt is for the salmon farm to run entirely on renewable electricity, though energy is only one among other concerns.
Meanwhile, a future with wind turbines off Humboldt’s coast came a big notch closer with the news that the State of California may invest up to $55 million in Humboldt Bay’s harbor so wind turbines can be built and maintained here. Local offshore turbines may be as much as a decade in the future (too late to meet Nordic’s need) but additional promising news came with a Biden administration plan for Humboldt to join other coastal areas in producing up to 4,600 MW of offshore wind energy — enough to power 1.6 million houses. A May 25 press release reports that federal agencies plan a lease sale for our offshore waters as soon as mid-2022.
350 Humboldt’s Offshore Wind Committee is following these developments closely. Reply to this email if you’re interested in working with them or simply want to learn more about this subject. (And read this interesting article about how challenging it is to find a place to site renewable energy projects.)
Another piece of good news came on May 18 when the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported county staff in developing a “qualified” Climate Action Plan (CAP). That term — qualified — means that the CAP would be in line with California’s climate goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 or sooner. As action on the CAP heats up, 350 Humboldt is developing a volunteer team to help educate local decision-makers on why this is a vital part of keeping Humboldt a healthy, vibrant area. Let us know what you’d like to see included in the CAP or in local communities’ climate efforts, and if you’d like to join our team of volunteers.
Humboldt County is a place where reaching carbon neutrality will also allow us to keep vibrant communities. Let’s make sure our local leaders know that, too!
Finally, if you haven’t signed up for coastal researcher Aldaron Laird’s presentation Humboldt Bay on the Threshold of Change, there’s still time for you to join us for the Monday, June 7, 7:00 p.m. Zoom presentation. Read more and sign up here.
Thanks for your time and energy on behalf of a livable climate!
Pat Carr for 350 Humboldt