10/14/14 General & Climate Change Working Group meeting notes

Humboldt Bay Initiative General Meeting and Climate Change Working Group Meeting
9am – noon, Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Conference Room, US Fish & Wildlife Office, 1655 Heindon Rd, Arcata

Partner News and Updates

Brian Tissot, HSU Marine Lab

  • New NSF proposal recently funded, Eric Bjorkstedt will speak to the project later today.
  • Intertidal Surveys around Trinidad, monitoring Seastar Wasting Disease and has seen some recruiting juveniles, maybe signaling some recovery

Scott Demers, H.T. Harvey & Assoc.

  • Mostly working in SF Bay, working on a large flood control project with climate change adaptation features built in, including tidal restoration

Rebecca Garwood, CDFG

  • Conducting project review
    • Fisherman’s channel in King Salmon, meeting at end of the month to discuss potential dredging project there. Last eelgrass survey showed about 5 acres in channel.
    • 2 big aquaculture projects coming up –Harbor District’s pre-permitting expansion project to expand leased areas in the Humboldt Bay and Coast Seafoods proposed expansion
    • Chevron Dock
    • Dredging in bay at some point
  • Took part in recent Eelgrass Management Workshop

James Ray, CDFG

  • Took part in recent Eelgrass Management Workshop and working on long-term eelgrass monitoring grant proposal with partners Frank Shaughnessy (HSU), the Wiyot Tribe, and Joe Tyburzcy (Sea Grant).
  • Developed a concept proposal re: spatial extent and spawning tributaries for Longfin smelt in Humboldt Bay. Should hear about invitation for full proposal by Dec.

Diane Ashton, NOAA

  • Focused mostly on Section 7 work

Chet Ogan, Redwood Region Audubon (RRAS)

  • Conservation Chair of RRAS
  • Siting on TAC for Ocean Ranch as CDFW moves forward with potential restoration scenarios

Riley Tapolewski, City of Eureka

  • Working on General Plan Update
  • Aerial flight occurred in June –covers all Humboldt Bay at 3 inch resolutions, not sure of tide level when it occurred. Contact Riley if you are interested in obtaining a copy.

Jen Kalt, Baykeeper

  • Recent recommendation from North Coast Regional Water Quality Board that six local waterways be federally listed (303(d) listing) as impaired due to high fecal bacteria concentrations. Baykeeper now looking for funding to determine animal source of contamination.
  • King tide photo initiative, looking for funding
  • Interested in following dredging discussion

Melissa Kraemer, Coastal Commission

  • Working on LCP amendments/ interim uses for coastal dependent industrial; working to amend Humboldt Bay Area Plan to change uses without rezoning
  • Samoa LCP – last certification of Humboldt Bay LCP amendment would allow for redevelopment of Samoa. They are now proposing changes to the phasing due to an infrastructure grant that includes new wastewater treatment facility to replace dysfunctional current system. This system would be required to serve all existing residences before new development, also hoping to develop affordable housing (may need to go forward ahead of other redevelopment in Humboldt Bay Area Plan). Will likely come before the Commission by January.
  • Spartina eradication – An application into the CCC would allow for eradication on other lands in Humboldt Bay and Mad River (eradication currently occurring on Federal lands only). Eradication would include mechanical removal with aquatic herbicide (imazapyr) as last resort. (DISCUSSION: This follows Humboldt Bay EIR that states that imazapyr will only be used as a method as last resort). Melissa willing to hear any comments on proposal.
  • Potential turbidity spikes due to Spartina eradication? Joel Gerwein is working with Frank Shaughnessy and Andrea Pickart to look at turbidity data from monitoring station. There may be a future meeting (tentatively Nov 4) to discuss turbidity monitoring, pulling together existing 2013/2014 WQ data and to discuss moving forward and what data needs to be collected.
  • Looking into setting up a mitigation bank for Spartina eradication (working with SCC, could be bank holder). May be able to use. Need to speak with CDFW because of mitigation requirements for CDFW to be partner.
  • Coastal Commission’s Whale Tail Grant application for coastal and marine education, due Nov. 1.

Kasey Sirkin, Coastal Commission

  • Works mostly in Del Norte
  • Locally doing some work with Fisherman’s channel work, including lot line adjustment from PG&E for large parcel to transfer/sold to Harbor District for longer term dredging.
  • Also working on acoustic monitoring plan for Chevron (5 years of monitoring)

Paula Golighty, USFWS Partners and Coastal Program

  • Pacific Coast Joint Venture international board meeting will be in Eureka this week
  • McDaniel’s Slough Project- Coastal Program Headquarters in DC interested in highlighting this project in Coastal Program Annual Report (national distribution).
  • National Migratory Bird Conservation Grant program open – due Nov 20.
  • If you have ideas for projects that fit the Coastal Program locally, call Paula. Coastal Program provides financial assistance, not a typical grant type process.
  • Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo now listed as federal threatened with critical habitat proposal. Sac Office at lead, Gary Fauxa contact locally. The lower Eel River has Cuckoo habitat.
  • FWS proposed listing of Pacific Fisher is currently open for comment and public meetings occurring, lead for that Yreka CA office.

Michael van Hattem, CDFW

  • Working with Miles Slattery from City of Eureka on Elk River Spit homeless encampment. This is an issue for Bay health, probably linked to bacterial contamination in Bay, can lead to disease outbreak prompting public health emergency funding in past to remove encampments from South Spit
  • Trails – new segment
  • Biological Resources update for General Plan just completed. Next part is the Water Element, with meeting on Dec 1. Asked for participation here.

Joe Tyburczy, CA Sea Grant

  • No update

Elien Humpule- Haily, HSU

  • Looking at SLR related to large earthquake and tsunamis, specialize in looking at diatoms to look at past events.

Brett Vivyan, GHD

  • Had been involved with CalTrans District 1 Climate Change Adaptation Project. Overall, GHD has spending time discussion how climate change/ sea level rise adaptation strategies can fit into infrastructure projects/protection

Annie Eicher, H.T. Harvey & Assoc.

  • McDaniels Slough – established vegetation monitoring plots with Julie Neander from the City of Arcata and Andrea Pickart, USFWS
  • Working with Humboldt County RCD on Salt River to monitor vegetation on ecotones
  • Some involvement with Ocean Ranch and Eel River Estuary Preserve

Becky Price Hall, CEINC and City of Trinidad

Announced that HBI was recently highlighted as a case study chapter in recently published book, Large-Scale Conservation in the Common Interest. Framed as a bridging organization. The chapter is entitled The Humboldt Bay Initiative: Integrating People and Natural Resources in Northern California.

Vicki Frey, CDFW

  • Regional Sediment Management Plan meeting in Eureka on November 6 for Eureka Littoral cell. Plan is addressing beneficial reuse options for sediment dredged from Humboldt Bay.
  • Statewide Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup is looking at ways to increase sediment load to ocean to address erosional problems on beaches and bluffs, and increase beneficial reuse of sediment to address same problems.

Whelan Gilkerson, Pacific Watershed Associates

  • Will be speaking at Pacific Coast Joint Venture re: eelgrass and sea level rise

Jeff Anderson, Northern Hydrology & Engineering

  • No update

Lynn Roberts, USFWS

  • No update

Presentation by Dr.  Eric Bjorkstedt, NOAA and HSU, on ocean acidification and HSU Marine Institute’s rockfish project

11:00 am Close  General Meeting


Climate Change Working Group

Attendees: Brian Tissot, Chet Ogan, Riley Topolewki, Jennifer Kalt, Paula Golightly, Michael van Hattem, Becky Price-Hall, Brett Vivyan, Annie Eicher, Vicki Frey, Joe Tyburczy, Jill Demers, Carol Vander Meer

Joel Gerwein of the State Coastal Conservancy called to speak about the Climate Ready Grant (concept proposal due Nov 17; http://scc.ca.gov/webmaster/pdfs/Climate_Ready_Announcement3.pdf). The grant is focused on funding natural resource climate change adaptation planning and implementation projects, greenhouse gas reduction projects, and land acquisition and/or restoration to reduce impacts of climate change. The grant won’t support scientific research/vulnerability analysis alone, but Joel is checking into if it could be supported as part of a larger proposal. This Climate Ready Grant round is different from previous rounds in that they are requesting a short concept proposal be submitted (the application form is three pages in length). The SCC will then invite a select number of applicants to submit a full proposal.

The HBI Climate Change working group discussed a number of needs and opportunities. Aldaron Laird was not able to attend this meeting, but has previously submitted a proposal during another Climate Ready Grant round through Friends of the Dunes and this sounds like a good fit, however none of the attendees were intimately familiar with the proposal. We also discussed several of the outcomes from the USGS Climate Change Workshop in early October: in many ways, our Humboldt Bay region is ahead of other regions in our ability to think at a watershed scale, likely due to the long-term efforts of HBI to promote ecosystem-based management (EBM), however we are behind some regions, like SF Bay, in efforts to prioritize habitats and conservation actions.  This brought up further discussion of efforts of the HBI Steering Committee and the Coordinators to update the HBI strategic plan with habitat goals/priorities and possibly tying it into a this grant application. There was also discussion about upland forested dune habitat that is now listed for sale north of the Manila Community Services District. There are 9 parcels there. Jill suggested she would be most comfortable presenting several proposal options to the HBI Steering Committee and they give guidance on how to move-forward with an HBI supported/coordinated project. We wrapped up this conversation with possibly meeting again to develop a proposal. Jill and Becky will coordinate via email. ~~~UPDATE 10/20/14: Jill received a follow up call from Joel Gerwein. He wants to let us know that the Conservancy encourages HBI to submit as many proposals as wanted/needed, even if we think it may not be funded under this specific RFP. One of the reasons for this is that the Conservancy is interested in funding proposals they like in the future with other funding sources. Alternatively, you can fill out a grant application at http://scc.ca.gov/applying-for-grants-and-assistance/forms/. This form is rather long, but you don’t need to fill out everything initially. All the Conservancy really needs for a review is the project description, budget, and timeline.~~~~

Joel also updated the group about the Humboldt Coastal Climate Change Resiliency Pilot Project. The State Coastal Conservancy, the Coastal Commission, and the State Lands Commission are starting a pilot project aimed to determining agency roles and how they can help regions become resilient. Humboldt was selected at the pilot site for the agencies to do this. They will start working locally to summarize the current work already occurring in the region, get local input about agency assistance and next steps, and complete a report in 6 months. At that point, this project will hopefully result in more funding and other resources for climate resiliency and adaptation work on the ground. The agencies will start reaching out locally to organization and individuals, and likely there will be a workshop or meeting soon. Joel will send information to HBI to distribute when appropriate.

We discussed the Whale Tail Grant. Carol Vander Meer, Friends of the Dunes highlighted several grants FOD will be a part off. Baykeeper/NEC and RCAA will also apply as well. There wasn’t a clear role/collaborative need for HBI to help with a proposal, so it is likely this won’t be pursued.

12:00 pm Close meeting