A photo of King Salmon
King Salmon – Aldaron Laird

Welcome to the website of the Humboldt State University Sea Level Rise Initiative. Please note that some pages and features on this website are currently under construction and are being updated.


The Humboldt State University Sea Level Rise Initiative will provide regional leadership on sea level rise research and outreach by developing a home for interdisciplinary scholarship related to sea level rise; creating a depository of research, databases, and assessments; informing local, regional, and national decision making through collaborative frameworks; and providing a centralized program through which regional sea level rise science and planning efforts can be coordinated.


Currently Humboldt Bay is experiencing the fastest rate of sea level rise on the entire West Coast. Without effective adaptation, sea level rise may result in severe impacts to local communities and the local economy. The governance of the Humboldt Bay shoreline is split among a number of city, county, Harbor, state, federal, and Tribal entities. There is a need for an independent body that can provide leadership on sea level rise research and  convene and coordinate planning efforts. The Humboldt State University Sea Level Rise Initiative can provide leadership for critical scientific research and monitoring to better understand, predict, and develop adaptation strategies necessary to avoid devastating impacts to fundamental municipal services, energy generation, essential transportation systems, ecosystem services, and cultural resources upon which the character and economy of local communities depend. Humboldt Bay or Wigi is part of the ancestral territory of the Wiyot people who must be central partners in assembling and planning for sea level rise impacts. Sea level rise research and planning efforts in Humboldt Bay can serve as a model for adaptation efforts in other areas, particularly rural communities .

What We Do

  • Convene regular meetings among researchers and community leaders interested in sea level rise to coordinate research efforts in order to maximize their effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with community, government, tribal, and research partners to secure grant funding to implement local projects to conduct research, develop studies and plans, and for educational purposes.
  • Create an online depository of sea level rise research, databases, studies, plans, and announcements.
  • Host local and regional workshops on sea level rise.
  • Develop creative strategies to communicate sea level rise research and findings both within and outside of the Humboldt Bay region.

Participation and Affiliation

The HSU Sea Level Rise Initiative involves HSU faculty, staff, graduate students and community members and meets every two months or as needed. The Initiative is affiliated with the Marine and Coastal Science Institute at HSU.