Then we read this in the local newspaper back in February:
"Chemical leftovers from Humboldt County’s once booming timber industry could create costly delays for two Arcata projects near its marsh and wildlife sanctuary.
One project seeks to construct a dog park at the old Little Lake Industries lumber mill site on South I Street. The other would reuse dredged soils from the bay to create a buffer to protect city properties from sea level rise.
However, recent tests of Humboldt Bay sediment along the marsh found a “hot spot” of harmful compounds known as dioxins, according to Humboldt Baykeeper Director Jennifer Kalt. Dioxins are found in a wood preservative once used by many of the nearly 100 mill sites near Humboldt Bay, which had either spilled or had been dumped into the bay over the decades, Kalt said.
“It was so toxic that it was restricted in the late 1980s,” Kalt said. “It’s only allowed now to be used on power poles.”
The dioxin levels found in the city’s tests in July 2015 were nearly 10 times the concentration deemed safe for exposure.
Due to the historic lumber mill activity along the bay, Arcata Environmental Services Director Mark Andre said it’s too early to determine the source of the dioxins. The city has hired an environmental consulting agency to find the sources and assess their impacts before proceeding with any of the projects, Andre said.
“There were many mills that drained toward where we did the sampling,” he said. “There were probably a dozen potential historic sources of dioxin that could have been a contributing factor. I’m not surprised that there is some level of dioxins found in the bay mud there.”
We still love it out there, even though looks can be deceiving. Sure hope the wildlife can manage these dioxins.