Local Coastal Program & Sea Level Rise Response

Joint City Council and Planning Commission Study Session on its Local Coastal Program and Sea Level Rise Response.

The joint Study Session will be held on April 30, 2018 from 6 - 9 p.m. in the Council Chamber.  This session is open to the public.

DRAFT documents are available for review prior to the meeting:

Sea Level Rise Risk Assessment.  (The document includes an executive summary and two independent reports - Sea Level Rise in Humboldt County and Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment.)

Coastal Land Use Element.  (Coastal Land Use is part of our Land Use Code.  It is often referred to as the CLUE.)

King Tide Community Observation Event on January 2, 2018

Three days of high tides begin on January 1.  The King Tide event occurs at 11:57 a.m. on January 2.  Help document the event with photos showing the effect of high tides in Arcata!

King Tide is the term for an especially high tide event.  They occur naturally and regularly, and are predictable, but when they occur during heavy storms or flooding, water levels can rise even higher and cause even greater flooding.  Even with no extraordinary rainfall, a King Tide can help us get an idea of what a permanent rise in sea levels might look like in our community.

Use our King Tide Guide, which shows 15 different locations and their elevations, and document other locations that you know to be affected.  Find links to the guide, and to the story map, where photos can be uploaded, and where you can see what others have documented.

King Tide Guide Logo
Click to view and download a guide to locations impacted by high tides.  You can also view the locations on our story map (see right).

We are very eager to see your photos from other locations, especially in creeks and streams.  You can take note of a location, and upload the photo with identifying location on the story map.  The upload is even easier if you have your geo-location turned on.

Printed copies of the King Tide Guide can be found at City Hall and at the Marsh Interpretive Center.

Camera LogoHere is where you can upload your photos of the King Tide and see what others have uploaded. The photos tell a story of water levels in various locations.

It's easy to use the story map - give it a try!

Crowdsourced documentation of Sea Level Rise impacts will be invaluable in the short term as City staff gathers information in anticipation of a City Council study session in the Spring.  This is the first of annual King Tide events that will record tidal impacts in specific places over a span of years.

Sea Level Rise Awareness Month - October 2017.

This was the first phase of a public awareness campaign about current and potential effects of sea level rise in Arcata.  You may have noticed City staff on the Plaza during Farmer's Markets and Pastels on the Plaza, handing out information and inviting you to learn more and provide feedback at events we held on October 7th.

Sea level rise affects everyone in the City of Arcata! While significant effects may be seen 50 to 100 years from now, the City Council is considering now the policies they will put in place.  These policies directly affect:

  • Infrastructure - Roads, Electrical Stations, Wastewater Treatment, Water
  • Commercial and Industrial Properties
  • Residential Properties
  • Agricultural Land and Facilities
  • Recreation and Natural Habitat Areas

We encourage all citizens to become informed about the policy the Council is considering, and to weigh in on the discussion. Below you will find a draft of Sea Level Rise policies, and slideshow of maps that show what our tidelands looked like in 1870, a FEMA floodplain map, adaptation measures, and two maps showing the proposed protection zone.  Click on any of the maps for a PDF.


A very good way to stay informed is to sign up for eNotifications - see information below.

The League of Women Voters of Humboldt County is holding a meeting where you can find more information about Sea Level Rise.  On October 25th at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Diz Swift will present "Sea Level Rise: When and How Far?"  The event will be held at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, 921 Waterfront Center in Eureka.  For complete information, go to the League's website calendar.  Information about Dr. Swift can be found at https://priceoncarbon.org/.

General Sea Level Rise Presentation

10-07-17 Sea Level Rise Awareness Events - Pastels on the Plaza, Guided Trail Walk, Information and Feedback Session

David Loya Discusses SLR Strategies
David Loya Answers Questions
Citizens and City Staff on Trail Walk - Viewing Current & Future SLR Impacts
At Pastels on the Plaza
Mark Andre and Doby Class Discussing Sea Level Rise on Trail Walk
David Loya Provides SLR Information

Sign Up for eNotifications!

  • Go to our website's main page and click on the gear icon next to the search box
  • Select Notifications from the drop-down menu
  • Enter your email address and/or sign up for text messages, and click on Sea Level Rise Notifications
  • You'll receive a confirmation email - once you confirm, you'll be ready to go
  • You'll receive a confirmation email - once you confirm, you'll be ready to go

You can also find information on the City Calendar, and by press release.sign up

Information from previous Study Sessions with the City Council:

Select to see information presented at the December 16, 2016 Study Session.

Select to see information presented at the February 6, 2017 Study Session.