West Coast
via Eureka Times-Standard

CA - Wiyot Tribe secures $250K grant to plan for sea-level rise resiliency

The Wiyot Tribe recently received a $250,000 grant from the Ocean Protection Council to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Humboldt Bay.

The Wiyot Tribe is one of 15 grant recipients striving to improve resilience to sea-level rise along the coast.

In the first phase of the project, the Tribe will begin the process of identifying cultural and natural resources that are vulnerable to sea-level rise and climate change, according to natural resources specialist and grant writer Adam Canter.

“Humboldt Bay actually has the highest rate of sea-level rise on the West Coast because of our geology, specifically the Cascadia Subduction Zone and the Mendocino Triple Junction,” Canter told the Times-Standard. “We’re going to feel the impacts of sea-level rise in a handful of decades or less. We want to be ahead of the game as much as possible and do what we can to protect these resources for future generations.”

The first phase of the project will involve interviews and meetings with Tribal elders, youth, and community members to collect cultural and natural resources information and advice.

“We will gather traditional ecological knowledge that can help inform which resources we want to focus on. Do we want to focus on salmonids and fish or focus on the protection of sites that are at higher elevations and really expand our efforts towards land conservation and ensuring tribal access,” Canter said. “Lower elevations will become inundated and impacted by sea-level rise first, so we’ll be looking at the most vulnerable resources.”

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