Humboldt Bay Regional Spartina Eradication Project

Project Dates: 
2013 to 2027

Project Leads

Funding Organizations: 
CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
US Fish and Wildlife Service
CA State Coastal Conservancy
CA Natural Resources Agency
Cooperating Agencies: 
City of Arcata
Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District
CA State Coastal Conservancy
US Fish and Wildlife Service

Spartina densiflora ('spartina') removal in the Humboldt Bay region is a collaborative effort across many agencies and organizations. In 2013, NRS was involved in the development of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Report for spartina removal to streamline the permitting process. Since then, NRS has become well-known for the successful implementation of marsh restoration projects that involve the removal of hundreds of acres of Spartina. Equipped with a 12-person Restoration Field Crew, brush cutters and a Marsh Master (an amphibious mowing-vehicle) NRS conducts primary and secondary treatments of spartina eradication across the Humboldt Bay, Mad River Estuary and Eel River Estuary regions.

The non-native invasive spartina is a major threat to the biodiversity and productivity of tidal marshes in Humboldt Bay and other West Coast estuaries. Spartina excludes native plants, reduces primary productivity, alters the benthic invertebrate community, and threatens mudflats that provide key foraging areas for shorebirds and waterfowl. Invasive spartina has been recognized as a major threat to estuarine biodiversity by the West Coast Governor's Alliance (WCGA) on Ocean Health.