Download Full Text (45.9 MB)


In 1850 the area east of Arcata Bay was a tapestry of wetlands and sloughs, fringed by conifer-clad hillsides. Canoe channels and trails connected a string of Wiyot villages that nearly encircled the bay.

Then white settlers arrived, establishing towns at Eureka and Union (Arcata). With them came profound changes in the landscape. Rock quarries. Log drives. “Reclaimed” ranchland. An airport. Four and a half railroads. In 170 years the area was transformed into a web of structures and infrastructures that connected what became the two largest cities in Humboldt County.

Recently a new period of change has begun, promising far greater effects. Global warming has created sea level rise, and Humboldt Bay will be the most severely affected area on the California coast. In response, elected officials, agency experts, and the general public need to make informed decisions about how to deal with the resultant rising water levels. We need to recognize that preparing for the bay’s future requires gaining knowledge of the bay’s past. This book will help start that process.



Publication Date



Humboldt State University Press




Environmental Studies | Nature and Society Relations | United States History

Humboldt Bay Shoreline, North Eureka to South Arcata: A History of Cultural Influences



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.