Apr 30, 2016

" Where specifically in the record is there evidence of this contention?"; Judge White asked Peter Martin and the plaintiffs

Prior to the April 29 hearing at 2 p.m., these are the questions Judge White asked of the attorneys.

The link will allow you to download the two page PDF document:



Excerpt 1:

The Court has reviewed the parties’ papers and, thus, does not wish to hear the parties reargue matters addressed in those pleadings. If the parties intend to rely on authorities not cited in their briefs, they are ORDERED to notify the Court and opposing counsel of these authorities reasonably in advance of the hearing and to make copies available at the hearing. If the parties submit such additional authorities, they are ORDERED to submit the citations to the authorities only, with reference to pin cites and without argument or additional briefing.

Excerpt 2:

The parties shall each have 40 minutes each to address the following questions:

1. Do Plaintiffs make only an as-applied challenge to the Eureka Municipal Code and not a facial challenge?

 2. Based on the recent ruling in Acosta v. City of Salinas, 2016 WL 1446781 (N.D. Cal. April 13, 2016), do Plaintiffs maintain that the Notice to Vacate provides insufficient procedural safeguards or insufficient notice to abrogate Plaintiffs’ procedural due process rights?

3. Plaintiffs contend that the number of unsheltered homeless individuals in the City of Eureka outnumber the number of available shelter beds and other temporary housing units in the area roughly by a factor of three to one. (See, e.g., Declaration of Paul Boden at ¶¶ 7, 11, 12; Declaration of Dr. Barry Zevin at ¶ 18.) Defendants represent that there are sufficient shelters and temporary housing options to house the current members of the Palco Marsh community. (See Declaration of Cyndy Day-Wilson at ¶ 22 (citing adoption but not effectuation of City Resolution to increase available beds to account for Palso Marsh residents).) The Court notes that the 2015 Point-in-Time Count found that of the 1,319 homeless individuals surveyed, 844 of them, or 64.3% were unsheltered, but it is not clear if that was by choice or by necessity. (Request for Judicial Notice, Ex. L.)
a. The Court requests precise citations to the record for the number of actual homeless individuals in the Palo Marsh area currently requiring shelter and the number of currently available shelter beds and other temporary housing units in the area.

b. If the parties continue to dispute this question, is the resolution of the issue more appropriately handled on a full record? Can Eureka delay for several weeks until the factual issue is fully briefed and presented to the Court?

4. Plaintiffs also contend that there are restrictions on certain shelters that some homeless individuals are unable to meet, thereby preventing them from obtaining shelter space even when the beds may remain unoccupied. Where specifically in the record is there evidence of this contention?

5. On the issue of timing for the project, will Eureka be harmed by a delay of several weeks for enforcement of the Notice to Vacate? Could the parties agree to a hearing on the full evidentiary record on May 27, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.?

6. What is Eureka’s position on the applicability of the Uniform Relocation Assistance Act?

7. Should the Court grant the restraining order, do Defendants contend a bond is necessary? 8. Do the parties have anything further they wish to address?

Kudos to Linda Stansberry and Council member Kim Bergel


Great article by Linda Stansberry. She deserves her own show, her own media outlet.

Way to go Council member Kim Bergel.

Rex and Virginia on a bike, Senator Mike McGuire a hit among the people and crowd enjoying the Rhody Parade

Tried to take a photo of Supervisor Rex Bohn and Supervisor Virginia Bass on a bicycle but Rex barely gave me time to click a photo, he weaved around the crowd and floats.

Senator Mike McGuire and his team had one of my favorite floats. Senator McGuire took time to go say hello to people waiting on the sides. He genuinely remembers people. I told him how much his constant presence is appreciated here in Humboldt.

 Councilmember Marian Brady had a car with flowers.

My other three most favorites were the HCSO, Eureka High School and Zane Middle School marching bands.

EPD photo from their Twitter account.

Ribbon cutting of the new teen center in Mckinleyville

Ribbon cutting at the new teen center in Mckinleyville yesterday.

Apr 29, 2016

While the rest of us were covering real news, we didn't have time to update Egger's lawsuit got dismissed

Dismissed December 7, 2015. Funny, that did not make the headlines of Janelle's preferred blogs.

I am the only one who followed up on this lawsuit, the last few times. Waste of time. My media colleagues were smarter.

I won't go into her "knowledge of the law" but the Judge was polite and often had to help her out.

Maybe Janelle and Verbena should actually know and study the law, instead of hatin' on me and others because of their perceived notions and opinions of me and others.

Even more interesting is to note where are Verbena or Janelle in helping the homeless relocate from the Palco Marsh? Or will they just show up Monday when they can pose for the cameras.

Janelle and I can actually talk and agree sometimes, she is an intelligent woman, even if we disagree.

Verbena and her minions shout a lot, criticize others, go off on their anti rich, anti law enforcement rants. What have they done to help this community in a positive way?

Verbena and Janelle thanks for using your names when you insult me. Tell your other cowardly supporters and sympathizers, if they have something to say, say it to my face or use your name. Easy to say anything anonymously.

All the money, time and resources wasted on your lawsuit Janelle could have housed a few people.

Does the alleged jewelry theft suspect have a doppelganger?

This is the still photo of the guy that allegedly broke into James Darin Joaillier store on Fifth street in Eureka.

This is a Facebook picture.

This is a more recent profile of the guy from Facebook. Voila. He suddenly has blue eyes.

What do you think sleuths?

Doppelganger or same guy?

"It's elementary, my dear Watson." 

Previous post:

More truth comes out, some of the 11 plaintiffs in Martin's lawsuit had places to go

Kudos to North Coast News for their excellent piece on the Palco Marsh lawsuit and effort to relocate campers.

During the 6 p.m. newscast, a homeless advocate told KAEF that many of the plaintiffs had places to go to.

So, why did they file the lawsuit? What is their and Peter Martin's agenda?

In the same newspiece, several people are taking advantage of the resources offered them to relocate. Eureka Police Chief said that people had a year to find alternatives and some of the people did not lift a finger; not even walk over to the resource right there, every week.

What this shows is, no one needs to be "evicted" on May 2. Eviction is for someone who rents, not squatters, costing taxpayers more.

There will be resources to help people on May 2 all day.

"Now we can proceed with our Housing First Plan, which is to house people."

Eureka City Mayor Frank Jager said, "I am happy with the ruling."

This allows the city to move forward and clean up something that has been a long standing environmental problem," said Mayor Jager.

"Now we can proceed with our Housing First Plan, which is to house people," said Mayor Jager.

Council member Kim Bergel has been working and going down to the Palco Marsh on a regular basis.
 She said "this has been going on for a while" and that she wanted to thank everybody involved in the effort to assist people in obtaining housing and shelterk.

Decision in regarding Peter Martin's lawsuit against City of Eureka

Today, at 2 p.m. at the Oakland Courthouse, Judge Jeffrey S. White will hear this lawsuit filed by Peter Martin against the City of Eureka, on behalf of twelve plaintiffs.

4:16-cv-02239-JSW - Cobine et al v. City of Eureka et al
Motion for TRO

City won, Peter Martin lost. Even though, the City has to assist the 11 plaintiffs in finding housing, they are allowed to clear the Marsh.

City Press Release:
On March 18, 2016 the City set a date of May 2, 2016 for individuals camping in the
Palco Marsh to leave the area. On Monday, April 25, 2016, a complaint in the United
States District Court, Northern District of California, Oakland Division Case No. 16-cv-
02239-JSW was file on behalf of 11 individuals. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White heard
arguments today regarding the complaint and is allowing the City to move forward with
the operation plan to clear the Marsh on May 2, 2016. Those illegal campers remaining
will risk arrest. The City will assist the 11 plaintiffs to identify shelter and manage their
Beginning on May 2nd through at least May 6th 2016, the waterfront greenbelt
areas between Truesdale and West Del Norte Streets west of Broadway will be
completely closed to all pedestrian bicycle, or vehicle traffic. This closure is due to
the planned police enforcement and property maintenance operation being conducted
during that period.
Unauthorized person(s) entering this police operational area will be subject to arrest
upon entry. Any illegal campers still remaining in the Palco Marsh area will be subject
to arrest. All entrances to the area will be monitored and entry restricted. All remaining
illegal campers in the marsh are urged to seek services or temporary housing from one
of the many service options A special fair will be held at the foot of West Del Norte
Street on May 2, 2016 from 8 am until 5 pm.
Camping in any City park or greenbelt is prohibited. Anyone who notices camping in a
City greenbelt or park should contact the Eureka Police Department. EPD and City staff
will respond to calls for camping within the City of Eureka as time allows.

Apr 27, 2016

How many Martin lawsuit plaintiffs have homes? Are they the same ones with these criminal records?

Stacey Cobine, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against City of Eureka, according to a Google search, her DISQUS profile and comments online, is a volunteer for Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction. She does not state she lives at the Palco Marsh, but has helped clean up, according to her comments.

Update (7:33 p.m.): According to this article, provided by Gabriele in a comment, Cobine says she lives at the Marsh,


Some of these people claim to be living in the marsh in other media reports, yet no one has contacted me and even if they are, when and why they moved to the Marsh is relevant information.

Nanette Dean is not homeless, she is listed as a Eureka resident . Shouldn't someone living on Walnut Drive be a Cutten resident?

Christina Ruble is also not homeless. Is she the same Christina Ruble mentioned in 2010, in this Rio Dell times report?
www.riodelltimes.com › EurekaPoliceDe...
Nov 18, 2010 - Christina Renee Ruble, 41 of Eureka and the primary tenant, was arrested and transported to the. Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked for possession of a ...

Aaron Kangas, lives on Little Fairfield in Eureka and is not homeless.

Don't know if he is the same Aaaron Kangas listed in this 2009 Times Standard On the Record report?

* Aaron Wade Kangas, felony second degree burglary. Sentenced to formal probation for three years. Judge Timothy Cissna.

Lloyd Parker, another plaintiff, is he the same one arrested in 2015 by HCSO?


So do any of the plaintiffs live at the Palco Marsh? Why are they plaintiffs?

I did not check all the other plaintiffs. Enough to make my point?

The City of Eureka could check into their background. Others besides me have asked if Martin is doing this pro bono. No answer, even if he is, as someone suggested, filing and settling a lawsuit could mean attorney fees.

The environmental groups have been silent. Guess the environmental damage isn't of concern to them or Martin.

Martin could not find 12 plaintiffs who actually live at the Marsh? Wonder why?

How are these plaintiffs subjected to cruel and unusual punishment?
Links to all documents from Lost Coast Outpost:

Proposal by the Trinidad Bay Fishermen's Association seeks to mitigate damage locally caused by domoic acid levels

This is the entire text of the letter dated today by Mr. Craig Goucher, president of the Trinidad Bay Fisherman's Association:

"Dear Director Bonham,

On Thursday April 28, commercial Dungeness crab fishermen from California's northern ports
(Crescent City. Trinidad, Eureka and Ft. Bragg) met via conference call. The purpose of the meeting
was to craft a management option to permit opening the D.crab season in the northern management
area. After considerable discussion regarding the inconsistent pass/fail results of Trinidad test crabs and the fact that two thirds of the normally scheduled season has now passed, north coast fishermen
respectfully request that the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) consider the following proposal:

1. Open commercial D.crab fishing from the OR/CA border south to Patrick's Point (41.08 degrees N.
2. Maintain a closed area from Patrick's Point to 6 miles north of the Humboldt Bay North Jetty
(42.52 degrees N. latitude), while continuing domoic acid testing.
3. Open commercial fishing from 6 miles north of the Humboldt Bay North Jetty south to the
Mendocino/Sonoma county line.
4. Permit the delivery of crab caught in open areas into the Port of Trinidad.
Obviously, this option is least advantageous to the Trinidad fleet. Logistically, given that the Trinidad
fleet is comprised entirely of smaller boats, displacing that fleet to other ports is untenable, posing an
unnecessary burden on Trinidad fishermen. However. opening from north of Patrick's Point would allow Trinidad boats to fish at least some part of their normal grounds. When combined with permitting thelocal fleet to deliver into their home port, this proposal becomes much more viable. We believe that thiswould pose no problem to DFW Enforcement given that only 12 boats will be fishing out of Trinidadand that the offloading facility accommodates only a Trinidad style vessel.

The Eureka fleet too is compromised by this proposal by displacing all of the fishing effort into a muchmore confined area. Typically, the Eureka fleet fishes from Trinidad to Cape Mendocino, fairly evenly distributed over nearly 30 miles of coastline. Extending the Eureka zone north of the North Jetty would provide significant relief to the local fleet. Despite the fact that the Eureka fleet would still be concentrated into little more than half its' normal fishing area, this proposal has strong support with that fleet as the one remaining option that gets boats working as soon as possible.
Though this proposal is a departure from more preferable management area openings. there is near
unanimous support with north coast fishermen for this approach. This option opens nearly 175 miles of coastline to fishing while effectively isolating the one continued problematic test site; it allows all north coast fishermen to fish at least some part of their local grounds, sooner rather than later, or perhaps not at all. Additionally, while crab quality at the present time is reported as excellent, the inevitable clutch/molt phase of the the D.crab life cycle continues to approach. Thus, north coast fishermen consider it imperative that the harvest begin without further delay. Even if adopted in the most timely manner, less than one third of the normal season will remain. Time is of the essence.
With the onset of the domoic acid event last October, commercial D.crab fishermen and managers alike were caught in a most unpredictable and abnormal situation. Though District 10/South opened to fishing in late March, the north coast remains as the one area on the West Coast that has not yet
harvested crab this season. The present situation requires a more nimble, creative solution than time
afforded in past months. We believe that this proposal can get the north coast fleet fishing relatively
soon without compromising public health concerns or public confidence in California's most valued
seafood product. North coast fishermen respectfully encourage DFW to adopt and implement this
management proposal as soon as possible."

Former St. Bernard parishioner and well-known local engineer honored by Senator Mike McGuire

Senator Mike McGuire dedicating the Lowell C. Allen Memorial Bridge. Mr. Allen engineered multiple North Coast bridges over 40 yrs.

Mr. Allen, passed away last year. He was a very active member of the St. Bernard's parish and attended both St. Bernard's and St. Joseph's church. I am very fortunate to have known Lowell and his wife, Esther, and family.

Rick Littlefield scheduled to be arraigned for most recent and fifth DUI arrest on May 9

Rick Littlefield is set to be arraigned on either May 9 or May 10 for his most recent case. The May 10 is the date that the DA's letter states.

Courtroom 5, the court where felonies are being arraigned these days.

His bail was forfeited  because he failed to appear in court on April 25.

He is charged with VC23152 (a), driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of a felony DUI and VC23152, driving with a 0.0.8% or more blood alcohol content within 10 years of a felony DUI.

Mar 28, 2016

No charges filed yet for Rick Littlefield owner of Eureka Natural Food in most recent DUI,this makes fifth arrest, 4 previous guilty pleas

Richard William Littlefield was arrested by CHP for violation of VC23152(a)/23550 on Wednesday, March 23 at 9:31 p.m.

He is out on bond and no charges have been filed for this felony yet. I am following the case. A date for bond status/possible arraignment is set for April 25, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.

He has four previous cases in the system, three misdemeanors and one felony. All were guilty pleas. Three were DUIs; one in 2009 was for disturbing the peace and driving with a suspended/revoked license. This was the case in which headlines of the arrest alleged solicitation of an Old Town prostitute.

The DUIs included two from 2006, months apart and one from 2011.

Shoaling this year predictable? Could Harbor Commission focus on a long term plan?

An attendee and active participant in matters affecting the Bay, sent me the following information:

"With the help of the Corps, John Powell (Bar Pilot) uncovered the recon study for the 2005 HUMBOLDT BAY LONG-TERM SEDIMENT MANAGEMENT STUDY.  This recon study was the first step in looking at long-term solutions to the shoaling at Humboldt Bay's entrance (that really originated with the 1998/99 el nino).  The recon study was paid for 100% by the Corps and the next step was to be the feasibility study that would have been cost-shared between the District and the Corps.  This is where it broke down as the District's share was $1.5 million and efforts to get those funds from the State were futile.
I send you this because the follow through on this Long Term Shoal Management study should be the next step.  Emergency dredging is clearly a Band-Aid.  The shoaling this year was completely predictable and while not completely avoidable, steps could have been taken to minimize its impact on the harbor entrance.  While the Harbor Commission is patting themselves on the back for getting emergency dredging funding (and they should), they should not lose track of completing a plan for a long term solution to the problem."

(CWIS #081540; P2 Project #105098)


a.    This study is authorized by Section 216 of the 1970 Flood Control Act, which reads:

“The Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers,
is authorized to review the operation of projects the construction
of which has been completed and which were constructed by the
Corps of Engineers in the interest of navigation, flood control,
water supply, and related purposes, when found advisable due to
significant changed physical or economic conditions, and to report
thereon to Congress with recommendations on the advisability of
modifying the structures or their operation, and for improving the
quality of the environment in the overall public interest.”

The changed physical conditions that are being investigated in this study are the causes of the unanticipated shoaling in the Humboldt Channels, which is the basis for the Section 216 study.

b.    The completed construction project authority was provided in Section 101.a.2 of WRDA 1996 (Water Resources Development Act of 1996, PL 104-303, 12 October 1996), which reads:

“The project for navigation, Humboldt Harbor and Bay, California:
 Report of the Chief of Engineers, dated October 30, 1995, at a
 total cost of $15,180,000, with an estimated Federal cost of
             $10,000,000 and an estimated non-Federal cost of $5,180,000.”

c.    Funding in the amount of $100,000 was appropriated in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2004, to conduct the reconnaissance phase of the study.


            The purpose of the analysis is to determine if there is a Federal interest in participating in a cost-shared feasibility study to provide navigation improvements to Humboldt Harbor and Bay, specifically to address the changed conditions (i.e., shoaling) in the Bar and Harbor Entrance and North Bay Channels. The analysis has resulted in the finding that there is a Federal interest in continuing the study into the feasibility phase.


            a. The study area is located in Humboldt County on the coast of Northern California, approximately 225 nautical miles north of San Francisco. (Attachment 2 – Location Map).

            b. The non-Federal sponsor for the feasibility phase of the study is the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District (HBHRCD), located in Eureka, California.

            c. The study area lies within the jurisdiction of the following California Congressional District:  1st District, Representative Mike Thompson.


            a.  Previous Reports: There have been numerous reports prepared concerning Humboldt Harbor and Bay.  In addition to previous reports, which will be reviewed as part of this study, the most recent report, prepared in 1995, is listed below:

(1)  Humboldt Harbor and Bay (Deepening) Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement/Report for Navigation Improvements, Humboldt County, California, dated April 1995, prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District and the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation, and Conservation District.  The project consists of the following: deepening the Bar and Entrance Channels and “Middle Ground Area” of North Bay Channel to a depth of 48 feet MLLW; deepening the North Bay, Samoa Channel, and Samoa Turning Basin to 38 feet MLLW; widening the Entrance Channel on the north side of the channel from the jetty heads through the “middle ground” to the turn into the North Bay Channel (this widening ranges from a maximum of 275 feet in the Entrance Channel to 200 feet in the “middle ground” area); moving of Entrance Channel edge north and away from the South Jetty by 100 feet; and widening and realigning the Samoa Turning Basin entrance. The purpose of the project is to improve efficiencies in navigation and provide safer channels for existing deep-draft vessels calling at the harbor.  The project consists of dredging the above navigation channels, and the disposal of the dredged material as follows: approximately 6.5 million cubic yards of dredged material in the Pacific Ocean at the designated Section 102 Humboldt Open Ocean Disposal Site (HOODS).  (See Attachment 3 – Existing Navigation Project Map.)

b.    Existing Projects:  This study is investigating potential modifications of the Bar and Entrance Channel, existing Federally authorized and maintained navigation channels in Humboldt Bay. (Past studies and projects are shown in Attachment 1.)

5.  Plan Formulation

a.    Identified Problems:

            (1) Existing Conditions: Humboldt Harbor is the only deepwater port between San Francisco, 225 nautical miles to the south, and Coos Bay, Oregon, 156 nautical miles to the north. Surrounded by some of the most productive timber in the world, the primary cargo such as wood pulp, wood chips, lumber, particleboard, and logs, amount to approximately 1.1 million tons annually.  About two-thirds of the tonnage is exported to domestic markets such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.


            Moderate winter storms have created dangerous shoaling spots as streams of sand flow upward from the entrance of the ship channel. This shoaling not only creates shipping hazards (one vessel, the Curie, actually grounded in November 1999, and sustained $2.3 million in business losses alone), but has forced the Humboldt Bar Pilots to impose restrictions on vessel drafts. Depending on the severity of shoaling, these restrictions have ranged from 18 to 33 feet, far less than the authorized depth of 48 feet MLLW. When faced with such restrictions, vessels end up transiting the channel partially loaded, incurring extra transportation costs. Furthermore, the Harbor District has been forced to perform emergency dredging of the affected areas, which cost $60,000 to $90,000 a day. The shoaling problem is most severe toward the early spring, just before the scheduled maintenance dredging is performed.

The problem is the restricted depth in the Bar and Entrance Channel and North Bay Channel for up to six months of the year. The channels are usually dredged in early spring, but winter storms cause the channels to excessively shoal, resulting in depth restrictions on vessels until the next maintenance dredging in the following spring.

Based on upon an analysis conducted by the Water Resources Section in 2004, it was anticipated that an increase in dredging volume of approximately 20% to 40% due to channel deepening would occur, however, a dredging volume increase on the order of 200% has actually occurred. The increase in dredging volume is much greater than predicted in earlier analysis, and can not be explained by the channel deepening alone which indicates that other mechanisms need to be studied and more refined analyses need to be conducted.

The Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District (Corps) conducts bi-annual maintenance dredging in Humboldt Harbor every year. Prior to the completion of Humboldt Harbor and Bay Deepening Navigation Project in May 2000, there were spring and fall maintenance dredging activities during which the Interior Channels were dredged in the Spring, and the Bar and Entrance Channels in the Fall.  The current maintenance dredging activity consists of maintenance dredging of the North Bay, Eureka, Samoa, and Field’s Landing Channels in March/April, and maintenance dredging of a portion of the Bar and Entrance Channels not only in March/April, but also in a time period anywhere from July to November.  
            A visual inspection was made of the April-May 2003 (pre-dredge), September 2003 (post-dredge), and January 2004 (pre-dredge) condition surveys for the Bar and Entrance Channel and the North Bay Channel (up through the Middle Ground area). Comparing the pre-dredge 2003 and the pre-dredge 2004 surveys indicates that the shoaling in 2004 was reduced for both the Bar and Entrance Channel and North Bay Channel. However, for the 2004 survey over half of the areas for both channels was still above the 48-foot MLLW authorized channel depth. Comparing the post-dredge 2003 survey and pre-dredge 2004 survey indicates that over half the Bar and Entrance Channel area has shoaled above the authorized 48-foot MLLW channel depth between dredging events. The North Bay Channel has also shoaled significantly, but it is hard to judge the amount of shoaling for the Middle Ground area, as the post-dredge survey was already above the authorized channel depth. (Note: Most of the shoaling in the Middle Ground area occurred prior to the post-dredge 2003 survey.) The visual inspections of these three surveys are summarized in the Table 1.

Bar & Entrance
North Bay
Pre-dredge 2003
25-30 Apr &
3, 20-24 May 2003
Over 50% of the channel is above 48' MLLW depth.
About 50% of the channel is above 48' MLLW depth.
Post-dredge 2003
26-29 Sep 2003
Over 90% of the channel is below the 48' MLLW depth.
Over 70% of the channel is below 48' MLLW, but the area of the bend in the Middle Ground is predominantly above
48' MLLW.
Pre-dredge 2004
29 Jan & 7 Feb 2004
Over 50% of the channel is above 48' MLLW.
Over 50% of channel is above 48' MLLW; large shoals along North Jetty side of channel and in the Middle Ground bend area.
Note: Authorized depth is 48 feet MLLW; authorized overdepth is 2 feet.
A review of the pre-dredge 2003, post-dredge 2003, and pre-dredge 2004 condition surveys for the Bar and Entrance Channel and the North Bay Channel (up through the Middle Ground area) reveal that over half of the channels’ areas have shoaled above the authorized depth of 48 feet MLLW between maintenance dredging events. The magnitude of the shoaling for both the Bar and Entrance and North Bay Channels is predominantly less than 5 feet (i.e., channel depth of 43 feet MLLW or deeper), with the greatest shoaling located along the sides of the channel.

(2) Future Without Project Condition Assumptions.

            We assumed that the Bar Pilots and the Harbor District would continue to address the shoaling problem by imposing draft restrictions as they had over the past several winters. The restrictions ranged from 18 feet to 33 feet, depending on the severity of the shoaling. Draft restrictions would result in increased shipping inefficiencies, particularly for the largest vessels. Under the most likely restriction scenario (defined as the average of the most recent restrictions) of 30 feet MLLW, the subsequent inefficiencies can range from $657,000 to $2.6 million, depending on vessel traffic and when the restrictions are imposed. The Preliminary Economic Analysis (Attachment 4) presents the logic in computing the economic inefficiencies associated with draft restrictions.

            b. Public Concerns:  A number of public concerns have been identified during the course of the reconnaissance study.  Initial concerns were expressed in the study authorization.  Additional input was received through coordination with the sponsor, and some initial coordination with other agencies.  The public concerns that are related to the establishment of planning objectives and planning constraints are:

            A safe entrance for all ocean-going vessels is essential to the local economy. Humboldt Harbor is already known as a treacherous entrance even before the shoaling problem started. Two factors contribute to making the entrance dangerous: 1) the semi-permanent sand bar in/near the entrance, and 2) the large waves.

            The measured channel depths for the Bay and Entrance and North Bay Channels ranged from 65 feet MLLW to 39 feet MLLW in 2004 and 65 feet MLLW to 26 feet MLLW in 2003. The maximum shoaling for 2004 was approximately 10 feet.

c.    Problems and Opportunities:

(1) Problems:

(a) Shoaling in the Humboldt Harbor and Bay between November and early April impedes navigation by reducing channel depth, preventing large draft (primarily those greater than 30 feet) vessels from entering the harbor and/or reducing the tonnage such vessels can transport resulting in loss of production and greater transportation costs.
(b) Shoaling in the Humboldt Harbor and Bay between November to April can result in ship groundings, resulting in damage to vessels, costs of recovery, and potential risk to human life and safety. The shoaling problem occurs mainly in the winter and early spring, but affects port operations throughout the year.

            (2) Opportunities: There is an opportunity to reduce the potential for ship groundings during the winter and early spring months (November through April).

            e.  Planning Objectives:  The planning objective is to reduce the year-round economic impacts to commercial navigation caused by shoaling in the Federal navigation channels in Humboldt Harbor and to evaluate potential restoration of seagrass beds within the Bay.

f. Planning Constraints:  Planning constraints identified in this study are 1) not adversely impact other maritime uses of Humboldt Bay and Harbor; and 2) comply with existing laws, policies and guidance.

            g.  Preliminary Measures to Address Identified Planning Objectives: A variety of measures were considered; a description and preliminary evaluation are presented below:

            (1) No Action:  The No Action alternative assumes that shoaling would continue to be a problem in Humboldt Harbor and Bay for up to six months of the year (during the winter and early spring months), which restricts the vessels entering and leaving the Harbor.

             (2) Structural: Ten structural measures have been identified and are described in more detail in the discussion of preliminary plans below.

            (3) Non-structural Measures: Two non-structural measures were considered: a) use of alternate ports, and b) literage. The use of alternate ports is not considered a feasible alternative due to the distance from Humboldt Bay; and literage is not considered a feasible alternative due to the wave climate.

            h.  Preliminary Plans: Preliminary plans are comprised of one or more management measures.  The descriptions and results of the evaluations of the preliminary plans that were considered in this study are presented below.

The alternatives to reduce shoaling of the Bar and Entrance Channel and other affected inner channels at Humboldt Bay and thereby provide all-weather channels (i.e., channels that remain at or below their authorized channel depth for the entire time period between dredging cycles (usually one year)) were developed based upon the March 16, 2004 meeting with the Port of Humboldt, Bar Pilots, tug captains, and the Westfall Stevedore Company, review of the Santa Cruz Harbor Shoaling Study (USACE 1992), and discussions with other coastal engineers and Humboldt Shoaling Project Delivery Team (PDT) members. The resulting eleven alternatives are believed to be inclusive of all technically realistic alternatives to reduce shoaling without consideration of other external factors (such as costs, environmental effects, political decisions, or public opinion). These alternatives can be conveniently categorized into three groups based upon how they reduce shoaling, which coincidentally relates to whether a hard structure or dredging is used in the alternative: (a) sediment removal alternatives (dredging); (b) sediment blocking alternatives (coastal structures); or, (c) combination of (a) and (b). The alternatives are presented based on category, but in no particular order of importance. Note that all of these alternatives assume that the annual maintenance dredging at Humboldt would continue and these alternatives are meant to supplement the existing dredging and hopefully either stabilize or reduce the amount of maintenance dredging needed at Humboldt.  These alternatives are as follows:

(1)  Sediment Blocking Alternatives (Coastal Structures):

(a) Alternative 1 – Groins. The groin alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt is to place a groin of appropriate size on the South Spit, which would trap sufficient sediment to ensure that the channels remain at their authorized depths for a number of years. Groins are shore-perpendicular structures that block the longshore transport of sediment, which results in the build-up of a beach on the updrift side of the groin and a reduction of sediment on the downdrift side. Groins are usually constructed either as a sheetpile (not recommended for Humboldt as they would be difficult to construct and very expensive due to the large wave forces experienced at Humboldt) or as a rubble mound of appropriately sized stone for the wave climate at the site (recommended for Humboldt). Rubble-mound groins would be easier to construct, and therefore less expensive, and can withstand the wave forces at Humboldt.

(b) Alternative 2 – Artificial Reef (Submerged Offshore Groin). The artificial reef alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt is to place an artificial reef (or submerged offshore groin) of appropriate size offshore of the South Spit, which would trap sufficient sediment to ensure that the channels remain at their authorized depths for a number of years. The most likely construction method for this alternative would be a submerged rubble-mound groin, or a combination of man-made objects with rubble placed to fill in the gaps between objects. This alternative reduces shoaling in the channels the same way that the groin alternative does, by trapping sediment before it reaches the channel.

            (c) Alternative 3 – Spur (Wing) Jetties. The spur jetties alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt is to construct spur jetties of appropriate size near the heads of the North and South Jetties to deflect sediment into deeper water where it would not enter the entrance channel and thereby ensure that the channels remain at their authorized depths. Spur (or wing) jetties are constructed off of the main jetties to deflect sediment away from the entrance channel and into deeper water, where it would not circulate back into the channel.

(d) Alternative 4 – Extension of the South Jetty. The South Jetty extension alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt is to extend the jetty in the west to southwest direction to block sediment from entering the entrance channel and possibly deflect the sediment into deeper water where it would not enter the entrance channel and thereby ensure that the channels remain at their authorized depths. Extensions to jetties and breakwaters have been used on other Corps projects to reduce shoaling into the entrance channel (e.g., West Breakwater at Pillar Point Harbor, California). The extension reduces shoaling within the entrance channel by blocking the sediment against the extension. Eventually, the sediment would migrate around the extension and into the channel and would have to be dredged.

(2)  Sediment Removal Alternatives:

(a) Alternative 5 – Advance Maintenance Dredging. The Advance maintenance dredging alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt would require that the channels be deepened, the side slopes flattened, and the shoal near the tip of the South Jetty be removed to ensure that the channels remain at their authorized depths on an annual basis. Advance maintenance dredging could be used to reduce shoaling and provide for all-weather channels by dredging deeper than is normally done for maintenance dredging at Humboldt, so that the channels do not shoal past their authorized depths on an annual basis.

            Advance maintenance dredging could be accomplished on an as-needed basis, but most likely it would occur on an annual basis. Advance maintenance dredging usually occurs in the authorized channel, but if there is a shoaled area next to the channel that will most likely cause increased shoaling within the channel, then this area also can be dredged under advance maintenance dredging.

(b) Alternative 6 – Winter Dredging Cycle. Dredging at Humboldt could be delayed to start after the first major winter storm and thereby increase the amount of time that the channels remain at their authorized depths. However, this alternative alone would not guarantee all-weather channels at Humboldt, as the channels would continue to shoal after the winter dredging has been completed. The winter dredging cycle alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt would delay maintenance dredging to start after the first winter storm and extend the amount of time the channels remain at their authorized depths.

(c) Alternative 7 – Year-Round/Episodic Dredging Cycle. The year-round/episodic dredging cycle alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt would require that a new dredge be permanently stationed at Humboldt, the regular maintenance dredging would be done by the existing dredges, and the permanently stationed dredge would be used for spot maintenance of the bar and entrance channel and inner channels, thereby ensuring that the channels remain at their authorized depths on an annual basis.

(d) Alternative 8 – Channel Realignment. The channel realignment alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt would require that the existing channels be modified by dredging to optimize the natural hydraulic flushing of the tidal currents, thereby reducing the amount of dredging necessary to maintain the channels at their authorized depths on an annual basis. Realignment of the channels would consist of relocating the thalweg of the channel by dredging the appropriate areas to establish the existing channel cross-section in a new location.

(e) Alternative 9 – Sand Bypassing. The sand bypassing alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt would require the installation of a sand bypassing system near the end of the South Jetty, with the dredged material pumped to the North Spit beaches, thereby reducing the amount of dredging necessary to maintain the channels at their authorized depths on an annual basis. Sand bypassing consists of placing a fixed or mobile dredging plant at a shoaled area and pumping the dredged material onto the downdrift feeder beach.

            (f) Alternative 10 – Sediment Trap. The sediment trap alternative to reduce shoaling at Humboldt Bay would require a sediment trap being dredged near the South Jetty, with periodic dredging of the sediment trap once it reaches its capacity, thereby reducing the amount of dredging necessary to maintain the channels at their authorized depths on an annual basis. Sediment traps are large pits dug into the seafloor to capture sediment before it reaches the navigation channel. The sediment trap is then periodically dredged when it fills up its capacity. (Note: The difference between a sediment trap and advance maintenance dredging is the sediment trap is a permanent authorized area of fixed dimensions that can not be changed without a change in the authorization, while advance maintenance dredging can be changed on an annual basis.)

(3)  Combination Alternative:

(a) Alternative 11 – Offshore Breakwater with a Sediment Trap. This alternative is the same as the above sediment trap alternative (Alternative 10) with the addition of a shore-parallel breakwater. The breakwater provides two added benefits to the sediment trap alternative: 1) it provides a calm area for the dredges when they are dredging out the sediment trap; and 2) it reduces the amount of shoreward cross-shore sediment transport into the sediment trap.

            (4) Other Combinations: Numerous combination alternatives could be developed based upon the previous singular alternatives. None of these additional combination alternatives are presented here, as they do not add any new design elements. Further development and evaluation of combination alternatives would be deferred until the feasibility phase, after the elimination of any unrealistic alternatives.

            i. Preliminary Plans Eliminated from Further Consideration: Alternative 9 (Sand Bypassing) has also been eliminated from further consideration as it would be very expensive to construct and maintain in the big wave climate and sediment volume at Humboldt.

            j. Preliminary Plans For Further Consideration: The Sediment Blocking Alternatives (Coastal Structures)(Alternatives 1 through 4) are carried forward for further study. It should be noted that Alternatives 1 through 4 could potentially result in starving the North Spit of sand, and more sand would be needed on the North Spit for beach nourishment, thereby resulting in additional impacts and costs, which would be studied further in the feasibility phase. The Sediment Removal Design Alternatives (Dredging) (Alternatives 5 thru 8, and 10) are carried forward for further analysis. Possible impacts identified include impacts to eel grass beds and erosion problems; these potential impacts will be studied further in the feasibility phase. Alternative 11 (Offshore Breakwater with a Sediment Trap) is also carried forward for further study in the feasibility phase.

            k. Conclusions from the Preliminary Screening: There are a number of potentially technically viable solutions to the excessive shoaling problem at Humboldt Bay that could be further investigated during the feasibility phase of this project. Based on this preliminary Section 905(b)-level investigation, it is determined that there are sizeable inefficiencies given the shoaling problems and that Federal participation is warranted. Projects such as Alternative 9 (Sand Bypassing) may be cost-prohibitive as it would be very expensive to construct and maintain in the big wave climate and sediment volume at Humboldt. Even minor improvements such as extending the number of dredging days or altering the maintenance dredging schedule could offer economic benefits.

            l. Establishment of a Plan Formulation Rationale: The conclusions from the preliminary screening form the basis for the next iteration of the planning steps that would be conducted in the feasibility phase. The likely array of alternatives that would be considered in the next iteration includes the Sediment Blocking Alternatives, and the Sediment Removal Alternatives (with the exception of Alternative 9 – Sand Bypassing). Future screening and reformulation would be based on, but not limited to, the following factors: environmental factors (e.g., impacts to eelgrass beds, dredged material disposal concerns), public concerns, benefits and costs.

Since providing navigation improvements to Humboldt Harbor and Bay is an output with a high budget priority and that navigation improvement is the primary output of the alternatives to be evaluated in the feasibility phase, there is a strong Federal interest in conducting the feasibility study.   Based on the preliminary screening of alternatives, there appears to be potential project alternatives that would be consistent with Army policies and could have adequate benefits and acceptable costs and environmental impacts. There are several alternative plans that appear likely to produce navigation benefits in excess of project costs, such as the advanced maintenance dredging alternative which has a preliminary project cost ranging from $1 million to $9 million, and the channel realignment alternative which has a preliminary project cost ranging from $600,000 to $1.8 million. (Note: These preliminary project costs estimates are based on experience with similar projects and do not include any real estate costs; these costs will be obtained during the feasibility phase.) The preliminary estimated navigation benefits could support a project cost of about $10 million to $20 million.

7.  Preliminary Financial Analysis

            As the local sponsor, the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, would be required to provide 50 percent of the cost of the feasibility phase.  The local sponsor is also aware of the cost-sharing requirements for potential project implementation.  A Letter of Intent from the local sponsor stating a willingness to purse the feasibility study is included as Attachment 5. 

8.  Assumptions and Exceptions

            a. Future Without Project Condition Assumptions:  It is assumed that the Bar Pilots and the Harbor District would continue to address the shoaling problem by imposing draft restrictions as they had over the past several winters. Restrictions ranged from 18 feet to 33 feet, depending on the severity of the shoaling. Draft restrictions would result in increased shipping inefficiencies, particularly for the largest vessels.

            b. Policy Exceptions and Streamlining Initiatives: The study would be conducted in accordance with the Principles and Guidelines and the Corps of Engineers regulations.   No exceptions to established guidance have been identified that would streamline the feasibility study process that would not adversely impact the quality of the feasibility study.  Approval of the Section 905(b) Analysis by Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division, does not result in the approval of any policy exceptions or streamlining initiatives.

9.  Feasibility Phase Milestones






  Duration    (months)
Milestone F1
Initiate Study
Milestone F2
Public Workshop/Scoping
Milestone F3
Feasibility Scoping Meeting
Milestone F4
Alternative Review Conference
Milestone F4A
Alternative Formulation Briefing
Milestone F5
Draft Feasibility Report
Milestone F6
Final Public Meeting
Milestone F7
Feasibility Review Conference
Milestone F8
Final Report to SPD
Milestone F9
DE’s Public Notice
Chief’s Report
Project Authorization

10.  Feasibility Phase Cost Estimate





Feas-Surveys & Mapping (except Real Estate)
Feas-Hydrology & Hydraulics Study/Report (Coastal)

Feas-geotechnical studies/report
feas-engineering & design analysis report
feas-socioeconomic studies
feas-real estate analysis/report
feas-environmental studies/report (except usf&wl)
feas-fish & wildlife coordination
act report
feas-htrw studies/report
feas-cultural resources studies/report
feas-cost estimates
feas-public involvement documents (Includes STrategic Communications)
feas-plan formulation & evaluation
feas-final report documentation
feas-technical review documents
feas-washington level report approval (review support)
project management & budget documents
supervision & administration
project management plan (PMP)
ped cost sharing agreement
feas-Value engineering analysis


11.  Views of Other Resource Agencies

            Because of the funding and time constraints of the reconnaissance phase, only limited and informal coordination has been conducted with other resource agencies.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in response to the Humboldt Harbor and Bay Deepening Feasibility Report, in 1995, stated that the project was not likely to adversely affect wildlife and plant species. Consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be conducted during the feasibility study phase.

12.  Potential Issues Affecting Initiation of Feasibility Phase

Continuation of this study into the cost-shared feasibility phase is contingent upon an executed Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreement (FCSA).  Failure to achieve an executed FCSA within 18 months of the approval date of the Section 905(b) Analysis would result in termination of the study.  No issues that could impact the initiation of the feasibility phase have been identified at this time.   

            The schedule for signing the FCSA is May 2005.  Based on the schedule of milestones in Paragraph 9, completion of the feasibility report would be in December 2007, with a potential Congressional Authorization in a WRDA 2008.


            A map of the study area is attached (Attachment 3).

14.  Recommendations

            I recommend that the Humboldt Bay Long-Term Sediment Management Study proceed into the feasibility phase.

                                                                        PHILIP T. FEIR                                                                                                                      LTC, EN

Attachment 1-  Past Studies and Projects
Attachment 2 – Location Map
Attachment 3 – Existing Navigation Project Map
Attachment 4 – Preliminary Economic Analysis

Attachment 5 – Letter of Intent