We need your help to protect one of California’s most important places for birds. Please send an email today to the members of the Humboldt Bay Harbor Commission asking them to protect vital bird and Pacific herring habitat in the bay.
Located in the far northwestern corner of California, Humboldt Bay is a globally significant Important Bird Area. The dense eelgrass beds and mudflats of Humboldt Bay support an incredible 60% of migrating Pacific Brant Geese, as well as between 10% to 20% of all wintering Marbled Godwits, Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers, and Willets, plus tens of thousands of other wintering shorebirds.
Now a seafood company wants to convert more than 600 acres of healthy eelgrass in Humboldt Bay to oyster farming. This massive project would convert more than 10% of Humboldt Bay’s eelgrass to oyster farming. This is also the most vital area for Pacific herring in the Bay. The Bay’s Pacific herring run – one of the largest on the West Coast – provides essential food for Surf Scoters, scaup, wigeon, Western Grebes, Clark’s Grebes, Brandt’s Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, and many other species. These eelgrass beds are recognized by federal and state agencies as Essential Fish Habitat, vital for herring, salmon, Dungeness crab and other commercially important fish.
The State Department of Fish and Wildlife is critical of the project, noting that “a multitude of significant, unavoidable environmental impacts are likely to occur” and that “it would likely affect several bird species.”
Please send your email to the Humboldt Bay Harbor Commission today, asking them to reject the seafood company’s proposal to expand aquaculture farming operations in Humboldt Bay. Any change to existing operations must be subject to comprehensive environmental review.