PWA and Baykeeper: Getting a handle on bacterial pollution in Humboldt Bay tributaries

Arcata, CA
PWA hydrologist Todd Kraemer, gaging flow in Campbell Creek

After months of unprecendented drought, the skies opened up in February, bringing much needed rainfall and kickstarting the wet weather testing season for Baykeeper's citizen water quality monitoring team. With Help from PWA hydrologist Todd Kraemer, Baykeeper volunteers gaged stream flow and developed hydrologic rating curves to gain a better understanding of the volume of water entering Humboldt Bay from four Arcata Creeks. Integrating flow gaging information with ongoing bacterial water quality sampling is, for the first time, providing the City of Arcata and local resource managers with a sense of which creeks and local watersheds are contributing the largest bacterial loads to Humboldt Bay. This work represents an important first step towards identifying the sources of impairment and prioritizing efforts to treat those sources to improve water quality conditions in and around Humboldt Bay. For more information, check out the full project description and this recent 'Call to Action' editorial in the Times Standard.

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