Humboldt Bay Regional Sea Level Rise Planning

Shoreline 2

Photo by Aldaron Laird


The Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Regional Planning Feasibility Study explores whether it might make sense to address the risk of sea level rise through a cooperative and coordinated regional approach to the identification, funding, and implementation of various sea level rise adaptation measures. A regional approach is being used successfully for roads and trails and other local infrastructure projects, and may serve as a good model for other coastal communities struggling to adapt to sea level rise.


The focus of this regional planning effort is the lands surrounding Humboldt Bay within the City of Eureka's and City of Arcata's local coastal programs (LCPs), and the County's Humboldt Bay Area Plan (HBAP), one of six coastal land use plans in the County's LCP, hereafter referenced as the Humboldt Bay region or project area. Lands in the project area that could be impacted by one meter or more of sea level rise contain many critical assets owned and operated by various entities, located in multiple hydrologic units and in multiple federal, state and local governmental jurisdictions with regulatory authority over development or public trust responsibilities for natural resources. A regional sea level rise regulatory framework, and ultimately a regional sea level rise adaptation plan, would be the best approach to addressing sea level rise in the Humboldt Bay region given these circumstances. 


The Feasibility Study consists of three main objectives:


Outreach was centered on four groups: Local Coastal Program agencies; permitting and public agencies; asset owners; and community. The results are compiled in the Stakeholder Catalog, linked below.


Research was conducted to identify the types of regulatory frameworks that could be implemented in a regional planning effort, opportunities for cross-jurisdictional coordination, opportunities for funding, and potential regulatory pathways and barriers. A memo by the County and consultants outlining research and results is forthcoming.


A final Feasibility Study Report will incorporate results from Outreach and Research to summarize findings, lay out regional planning framework options, provide meetings notes, and identify recommendations for next steps. The final report is projected to be released before the end of the year.

For more information on Sea Level Rise in Humboldt County and Local Coastal Planning in general, visit the County’s Local Coastal Plan Update page at:

Local Coastal Plan Update