Source: Lost Coast Outpost
Offshore wind development in Humboldt County has the potential to revolutionize our economy and materially improve the well-being of our communities. But it’s not that simple. As a member of the Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation, a Cal Poly Humboldt educator, and a leader in the Redwood Region Climate and Community Resilience Hub (CORE Hub)’s Offshore Wind Community Benefits Network, I believe that Northern California renewable energy development must go hand in hand with investments in Tribal communities and industries such as aquaculture and mariculture; and that it requires strong community benefits like workforce development, education, healthcare and housing.
In 2024, developers like Crowley and local and state governments will be working together to solidify multi-million dollar offshore wind deals and projects, and will need to ensure that communities are not left out of the conversation.
Nurturing a just future in Humboldt County means that those who seek to profit from offshore wind development need to codify their promises to our community in legally binding agreements. In Humboldt, we have a history of extractive industries taking advantage of our rich supply of natural resources. In the 1800s and 1900s, our county served as an epicenter for the Gold Rush and logging, the negative effects of which can still be seen today. Former mill sites continue to threaten the drinking water of our 88,000 Humboldt County residents. We consistently rank as one of the five poorest counties in California, and our region has one of the highest rates of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP) in the nation.