The Humboldt Bay Stewards hosted a one-day public symposium titled, “Current Perspectives on the Physical and Biological Processes of Humboldt Bay,” on March 15, 2004. The purpose of the symposium was to ex- amine biological and physical processes to gain a better understanding of Humboldt Bay. The need for the symposium was clear, as there were many plans, projects and studies ongoing at the time.
The symposium included 19 presentations and a panel discussion. Ten of the presentations are included as papers or in the appendices as a report or plan. A major topic addressed in several papers was sediment sources and transport. Sediment was addressed historically (Tuttle), oceanographically (Crawford and Claasen), in the watershed (Barrett), relative to eelgrass (Shaughnessy et al.), fouling communities (Boyle et al.), and management (Davenport). Though Davenport did not submit a paper on the California Sediment Management Plan, Appendix A includes a copy of this important and innovative plan that was completed in 2006.
Other management topics included an overview of the Humboldt Bay Management Plan. From the biological perspective, papers are included on marine invasive species, eelgrass, fish and fouling communities. Worldwide, increasing attention is directed towards aquatic invasive species and their impacts on biodiver- sity and ecosystems.
The presentation on invasive species at this symposium showed their occurrence around Humboldt Bay. The purpose of the study was to provide reliable baseline information for further studies and monitoring. The “Non-indigenous Marine Species of Humboldt Bay, California” is included in Appendix II. This study was part of a program funded by the California Department of Fish and Game that included most of the bays and estuaries in California. The innovative fish habitat paper, (Gleason et al.) uses a novel GIS approach to the study of Humboldt Bay fishes. Eelgrass provides a major habitat in Humboldt Bay. Summarizing what we know, don’t know and need to know about Humboldt Bay eelgrass provides a fruitful source of many possible studies. Fouling com- munities have not been previously studied in Humboldt Bay. The study presented here is the beginning of a long-term project that we can expect to hear more about at future symposia.