Science

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Earthquake Strikes Near Pine Hills

Posted By on Tue, May 21, 2019 at 10:34 AM

USGS
  • USGS
A preliminary magnitude-3.8 earthquake struck near the Eureka enclave of Pine Hills this morning, with reports of ground shaking spanning from  Hydesville to McKinleyville, according to USGS.

The 10:19 a.m. quake struck at a depth of almost 13 miles.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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Thursday, February 21, 2019

North Coast Night Light: Freshwater Lagoon

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Sept. 2, 2018, at Freshwater Lagoon. - PHOTO BY DAVID WILSON
  • Photo by David Wilson
  • Sept. 2, 2018, at Freshwater Lagoon.
Sometimes a creative urge will drive me nutty unless I can find a way to make something. I’m an artist but I am only interested in one medium: photography, which of course includes working with photos after taking the picture, whether with current digital tools or in the darkrooms of old as I started out. At the moment I am driven to take nighttime photos. I don’t know why. I just go with it.

But it can conflict with my highly developed inclination toward self preservation when it comes to places I don’t feel safe to be alone at night. There are times when I want terribly to go photograph but can’t find anyone to accompany me. Family and friends are wonderful companions, and they have given me many of their nights to come out with me to make long exposures or paint with light in the dark of night. I am grateful for the time they’ve given me and for the times yet to come. Thank goodness for them.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Hello there, Super Snow Moon

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 12:30 PM

An aircraft taking off is seen passing in front of full moon in December of 2017. - NASA/BILL INGALLS
  • NASA/Bill Ingalls
  • An aircraft taking off is seen passing in front of full moon in December of 2017.
Move over Super Blood Wolf Moon, it’s the Super Snow Moon’s turn to shine.

Sure it’s not as snazzy a name and Tuesday’s moon lacks that added je ne sais quoi of a lunar eclipse, but the celestial orb will “look extremely large when it rises and sets,” according to NASA, the result of an illusion that occurs when the Moon is close to the horizon and our brain is “tricked into thinking the Moon is much closer to the objects that are in our line of sight.”

And, hey, it’s the second to the last one for the year, so enjoy. According to the website Time and Date, moonset in Eureka will occur at 7:22 a.m. Tuesday  — with the full moon reached at 7: 53 a.m. — and rise at 6:17 p.m.

The National Weather Service, however, forecasts rain is likely for that evening.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Remains Found by the Eel River in 2016 Identified

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 1:54 PM

George Preston Daniels - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • George Preston Daniels
When George Preston Daniels didn’t show up at the Humboldt County Courthouse on March 24, 2016, for charges stemming from what authorities said they believed was a marijuana rip-off, he became a wanted man. But, most likely, he was already dead.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today that remains found along the Eel River in May of 2016 were identified last month as belonging to Daniels.

Over the spring and summer of 2016, bounty hunters from a local bail bonds office had scoured the area — even hiring a small plane at one point to search for Daniels’ vehicle — to no avail, in spite of a reward offered by his bail bondsman.

In fact, his body had been found in May of that year by a person canoeing the Eel River near Stafford. At the time, Chief Deputy Coroner Ernie Stewart said it appeared the body had been there "quite some time" and the case was being treated as a homicide.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

UPDATE: Wind Gusts Could Reach 50 MPH This Afternoon, Slide Closes 36

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 9:51 AM

weatherstory2.png
UPDATE:
Caltrans has updated that State Route 36 is open to one-way controlled traffic.

PREVIOUS:
Humboldt County will continue to see rain, wind and mountain snow for the next week, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather service, which reports a forecast of “multiple rounds” of an “active and wet pattern.”

A wind advisory remains in effect for the coast today until 3 p.m. with gusts as high as 50 mph possible and the Eel River is under a flood watch from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon.

While unclear if it’s weather related, more than 1,200 PG&E customers in Eureka lost power this morning, according to the company’s outage page, joining hundreds of other Humboldt County residents who were also left in the dark. No cause or estimate for restoration was available as of 8:30 a.m.

To find out about outages in specific areas, visit https://m.pge.com/#outages.

Meanwhile, a rock slide has closed down State Route 36 west of Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, according to the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Storm Update: Flood Watch for SoHum, Eel River; Wind Advisory on the Coast

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 7:11 PM

51714907_2296401400405038_7409596782134427648_n.jpg
The Eureka office of the National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the Humboldt and Mendocino coasts from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 3 p.m. Wednesday as another storm system rolls through the region bringing "heavy rain, gusty winds, and mountain snow."

Flood watches are also in effect for Southern Humboldt and Mendocino County starting late tonight and continuing through Thursday afternoon and for the Eel River at Fernbridge.

The heaviest rain is forecast for tonight into Wednesday with moderate levels continuing into Thursday, which is expected to cause “rapid rises” on area rivers with some expected to reach monitor or flood stage, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services reports that the Eel River is forecast to reach flood stage at Fernbridge late Thursday afternoon, but the information will continue to change over the next 24 to 48 hours.

For the latest weather information about specific locations, visit www.weather.gov/eureka. To monitor river conditions, visit NOAA's Calfornia Nevada River Forecast Center website here.


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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Massive Fish Farm Proposed for Pulp Mill Site (Video)

Posted By on Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 1:40 PM

A rendering of the Belfast, Maine, facility. - NORDIC AQUAFARMS
  • Nordic Aquafarms
  • A rendering of the Belfast, Maine, facility.
The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District and Norwegian company Nordic Aquafarms are set to formally sign a lease Monday for the development of a massive fish farm at the former Samoa Pulp Mill.

According to the harbor district, the project will include “the removal of all remaining deteriorating buildings and unutilized infrastructure” at the 30-acre property, which was the site of a multi-agency clean-up effort in 2014 to avert a looming catastrophic environmental disaster on the edge of Humboldt Bay.

Read previous Journal coverage about the removal of nearly 3 million gallons of caustic pulping liquors abandoned in failing storage tanks by Evergreen Pulp here, here and here.

The proposed project is forecast to “result in the investment of hundreds of millions dollars in the local economy,” the harbor district’s release states.

According to a report in seafood business publication Undercurrent, the project “represents a potential $400 million investment,” bringing around 80 jobs. Eventually, the article states, plans are to produce some 25,000 tons of fish a year at the facility.

In a Facebook post linking to the article, harbor district Commissioner Richard Marks described the fish farm as a nearly half-billion-dollar project, writing that “new construction will bring many hardhats to the area and then many high end Fishery jobs for biologists form Humboldt State.”

A land-based aquaculture facility – likely producing salmon or steelhead – the venture will serve as the West Coast base of operations for Nordic Aquafarms, which is currently in the process of developing an East Coast equivalent in Belfast, Maine, according to the company.

The facility will use what is known as recirculating aquaculture system, or RAS, which utilizes large tanks and water treatment systems in raising the fish. The company says the method prevents many of the common concerns associated with farm fishing in offshore pens, including pollution from waste, chemical use and the potential to pass on diseases and parasites to wild fish.

Nordic Aquafarms Concept from Netron on Vimeo.

“We will now be situated on both coasts, which fits into our strategy of locating fish farms close to major regional markets,” said Marianne Naess, Nordic’s commercial director, in a release. “The Humboldt location will enable us to reach more than 50 million people within a 12-hour drive or less, which reduces the cost and environmental impact of transportation while supplying the market with super-fresh, sustainably raised local fish.”


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Friday, February 8, 2019

New Funding Sought for Last Chance Grade

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 1:54 PM

Officials have considered rerouting Last Chance Grade inland since the current route was cut in 1933. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Officials have considered rerouting Last Chance Grade inland since the current route was cut in 1933.
More funding could be coming to the help fix the 3-mile-long stretch of U.S. Highway 101 in Del Norte County known as Last Chance Grade in the race to ward off the billion dollar economic loss a catastrophic failure could cost.

Connecting California’s northern coastal reaches to the rest of the state, the roadway is falling into the Pacific, having shifted some 50 feet west since 1937.

According to a release, Caltrans is slated to request $40 million from the California Transportation Commission to aid in finding a solution for the failing section with an ominous name.

The money would go toward completing the environmental studies needed to move forward with a project that comes with just about every conceivable stumbling block possible — from old growth redwoods to unstable terrain to a United Nations’ World Heritage site.

Then, there’s the price tag — estimated between $300 million to $1 billion, depending on which of six alternative routes move forward. Meanwhile, more than $55 million has been spent on temporary fixes over the last decade.

Read previous Journal coverage about the complicated story of Last Chance Grade here, here and here.


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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Steps Made to Protect the Klamath Spring Run Chinook

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 3:35 PM

A spring run Chinook in the Salmon River. - PHOTO BY NATHANIEL PENNINGTON
  • Photo by Nathaniel Pennington
  • A spring run Chinook in the Salmon River.
A first step in protecting Klamath–Trinity spring run Chinook as a separate species took place this week with the California Fish and Game Commission making the fish a candidate for an endangered species listing in the state.

According to a release from the Karuk Tribe and the Salmon River Restoration Council, a final decision will be made within one year but, in the meantime, the so-called springers will “be afforded all the protections of a listed species.”

That includes fishing restrictions but the release notes that the tribe and the council want to work with fishermen and the agency for “common sense” regulations.

"There is a population of hatchery born spring Chinook on the Trinity River that can and should be fished," Karuk Tribe Executive Director Joshua Saxon said in the release.

With spring run teetering on the brink of extinction, the tribe and SRRC have pushed for a state and federal listing, finally backed with DNA evidence that shows the fall and spring Chinook runs are genetically different.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

SECOND UPDATE: 4.4 Quake Hits East of Blue Lake

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2019 at 10:34 AM

UC BERKELEY
  • UC Berkeley
This morning’s earthquake was a magnitude-4.4 that struck east of Blue Lake, according to the USGS.

The 10:23 a.m. temblor follows a swarm of quakes that have hit off the coast since Friday while two more unrelated seismic events occurred in Cutten on Monday.

The largest of the swarm was a magnitude-4.5 that hit on Saturday.
USGS
  • USGS


According to the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group, the location of today's quake "puts it within the subducted Gorda plate."

A magnitude-2.6 quake in the same area followed 12 minutes later.

For more information, visit:
https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nc73138600/executive.
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