May 2022 (volume 31, issue 5)

The Quality of Our Drinking Water Continues to Decline

Editor’s Note: The Lake Whatcom Monitoring Project was initiated in the 1980s to measure and track long-term lake data for temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, and nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus. The work is performed by WWU’s Institute for … Continue reading

Fairhaven Needs an Updated Village Plan

by Barbara Clarke Seven years ago, my daughter and I moved to Bellingham and settled on the outskirts of Fairhaven. Some of the persuasive features were an affordable apartment, the beautifully maintained trails, Fairhaven Park nearby, the exciting daylighting of … Continue reading

The Oregon Coast

by Joe Meche A quick scan of the Oregon coastline, from the Columbia River to the California state line, leaves no doubt as to the potential for access to a myriad of opportunities for all recreational pursuits. The stunning beauty … Continue reading

Marine Mammal Predation Is Out of Control

by Ed Johnstone  Our tribal fishermen are being out-fished by marine mammals. When I was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, it was rare to see a sea lion at the mouth of the Quinault or Hoh rivers. But … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at March 8, 2022 Meeting Shall the council: 69. Fill a vacancy on the Climate Impact Advisory Committee? At the 12/7/2017 meeting, vote #259, the council established the advisory committee. It provides review and … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

The city of Bellingham sent the following information to Whatcom Watch after the April issue was sent to the printer. Action Taken at February 28, 2022 Meeting Shall the council: 26. Deny an appeal to the city’s decision to deny … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at February 15, 2022 Meeting Shall the commission: 26. Authorize the executive director to settle an insurance payment for storm damage costs at the Fairhaven Shipyard? On 2/3/2021, a storm caused extensive damage to … Continue reading

Natural Climate Solutions: Maybe Not What You Think

by Stevan Harrell Technology can save us from climate change, or so goes the hope and hype in today’s media. Clean, smart grid, electric vehicles, all-electric buildings, green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage — if we just get off fossil … Continue reading

State Plans to Save Trees, Reduce Carbon

by Tyler Brown The Washington Department of Natural Resources is making strides to lead the country in reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming by setting aside public land and selling carbon credits to generate money for schools, hospitals and … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District 2022 Election Results

Ballots were tallied by the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office. The Whatcom County Voter Registration List was used for verification of voter eligibility. As of March 31, 2022, the unofficial results: Valeri Wade* 544 64.92% Write-In Votes 294 35.08% Ballots Counted … Continue reading

Wild Lawns, Home-Brewed Fertilizer, Overwintered Kale, Avoiding Neonics

by Elisabeth Marshall The news from the wider world is decidedly discouraging this spring, even as flowers brighten our gardens and frogs have begun their nightly song in the slough out in back of the house. Ukraine spring wheat planting … Continue reading

Charting a Hopeful Course for Salish Sea

by Ken Brusic Second of two parts Ginny Broadhurst has a superpower. “My friends and I have a funny conversation sometimes about what’s your superpower,” she said. Her son, Ethan, maintains that a superpower is akin to what one percent … Continue reading

Salish Sea Facts

Salish Sea Facts • Shoreline length, including mainland and island shores: 5,850 miles • Number of islands: about 400 • Estuarine waters: 6,874  miles • Watersheds: about 45 • Watershed land area: 124,000 miles • Fraser River freshwater contribution: 50 percent • Strait of Georgia surface area: … Continue reading

Call to Action

The “State of the Salish Sea” concluded with a Call to Action. Its three authors — Ginny Broadhurst, Natalie Baloy and Kathryn Sobocinski — called for strategic planning, systematic changes in governance, large-scale investment, and significant shifts in our economic … Continue reading

Reports Show Declining Quality

Three recent reports examine the health of parts or all of the Salish Sea. • “State of the Salish Sea,” May 25, 2021 — Report by the Salish Sea Institute of Western Washington University examines the most pervasive and damaging impacts … Continue reading

Whatcom Watch Celebrates 30 Years

by Whatcom Watch Staff Whatcom Watch, a grassroots environmental newspaper in Bellingham, celebrates its 30th year of publication. It is the result of many hours of dedicated volunteer labor each month. The papers are distributed to over 50 locations countywide, … Continue reading

About Lake Whatcom

About Lake Whatcom  Lake Whatcom is the primary drinking water source for about 100,000 residents of Whatcom County (see map on page 6). The lake is comprised of three sub-basins from which water samples are collected in October through December, … Continue reading