Photo: Steven Bratman, CC



News From the Center

By Dan Ehresman

Even as we face a host of environmental challenges—drought, habitat loss, resource depletion, pollution and sea level rise—we cannot say enough what it means to have such a strong support network and the help of so many inspiring, passionate and hard-working people. Only together can we meet the many complex challenges that are at our doorstep and integrate a culture that is truly sustainable and resilient.

On the heels of our summer fund appeal, we say "Thank you!" to all who have donated. If you have never given before, or if it has been a while since you sent in a donation, please consider giving today and be part of the team that continues to educate and advocate on behalf of North Coast communities, human and wild.




Solving California's Water Problems
 State Capitol dry lawn - droughtState Capitol dry lawn - drought

By Peter Gleick

For over 150 years, Californians have argued, litigated, yelled, and otherwise fought over water. California is a big state—we have redwood forests, desert regions, mountains, coasts, rich agricultural lands, amazing natural ecosystems. And overall, we have a pretty good amount of water.

The problems with California’s water are that it is highly seasonal, highly variable, and poorly managed. Now, halfway through the second decade of the 21st century, we’ve hit the wall. California is in a drought—some call it the third year of a drought, but it could also be called the tenth dry year out of the last thirteen (see graph below). Even if next year brings some relief, our water problems will remain.




"Obstinate" Wildlife Agency Leaves Legacy of Killing

By Monte Merrick

Wildlife Services, a Federal agency, has been killing wild animals and sometimes domestic animals, primarily at the behest of the livestock industry, for the last 100 years. Last year, WS reported 4.4 million animals killed, half of them native species.

In the early years of its killing legacy, the agency, then known as the Bureau of Biological Survey, made no attempt to conceal its goal of predator eradication. Gray wolves were relentlessly hunted until there were no more across most of the continental United States. Wolves were not their only target.




Rights vs. Reason in Extreme Drought Conditions

By Scott Greacen

Responding to one of the most severe and persistent droughts in the history of California, state agencies are now moving to shut down water diversions that harm fisheries and wildlife, using a mixture of unusual and unprecedented measures.

The State Water Board is issuing “curtailment notices” to registered water rights holders in many areas. Both the State Water Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife have been given new staff to go after unregistered diversions associated with marijuana cultivation. Both agencies now have new powers to issue steep fines to punish scofflaws and polluters. 



Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday Sept. 20!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of California Coastal Cleanup Day—and for Humboldt County beach cleaner-uppers, this will be our 35th year!

Coastal Cleanup Day began as a local program of the NEC in the mid-1970s and has since grown into the largest volunteer event caring for the marine environment in California and across the world.




Celebrating Wilderness: 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act and the 30th Anniversary of the California Wilderness Act. The 1964 Wilderness Act created the framework of our National Wilderness Preservation System which now comprises 110 million acres from coast to coast. This includes lands designated under California’s Wilderness Act such as the Trinity Alps and Siskiyou Wilderness Areas for which the NEC and many other organizations and individuals helped to fight for. In this issue of EcoNews, we highlight four of Northern California’s cherished wilderness areas: the Trinities, the King Range, Yolla Bolly, and the Siskiyous.







Coastal Cleanup Day is September 20!

Coastal Cleanup Day 2014 is fast approaching! 
Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 20 
from 9:00am to Noon.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of California Coastal Cleanup Day—and for Humboldt County beach cleaner-uppers, this will be our 35th year!



Paddlefest this Saturday, September 13

For full schedule of events, click HERE.


More than Half of California Suffering from Exceptional Drought

Map of California drought conditions updated July 29, 2014Map of California drought conditions updated July 29, 2014

More than fifty-eight percent of California is suffering from what the United States Drought Monitor calls Exceptional Drought. Available data is updated every few weeks on their website HERE.


Humboldt County Issues Blue-Green Algae Warning
Blue-green algae on the Klamath River. Photo: Hoopa Valley TribeBlue-green algae on the Klamath River. Photo: Hoopa Valley Tribe

Toxic blue-green algae blooms are beginning to occur in some of our area rivers. Learn how to protect yourself and your pets!



Explore the Bay with Humboldt Baykeeper

Interested in exploring Humboldt Bay while paddling a kayak or from the more leisurely deck of a motorized boat? Baykeeper has partnered with the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District to offer monthly bilingual tours covering a variety of topics on Humboldt Bay.