December 2020 (volume 29, issue 12)

Washington Conservation Corps Replenishing Bellingham’s Waterways Since 1999

Like their shoreline neighbors at the heart of the Salish Sea, Whatcom residents are fortunate to live in an iconic region with a taste of the ocean, mountain views and sweeping rainforests, accompanied by a temperate climate. Midway between the … Continue reading

City Plans to Cap White Toxic Mounds

In 1992, a person walking along the water on Cornwall Beach (located at the south end of Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham) made a startling discovery: glass blood vials, plastic syringes and other medical refuse. The subsequent investigation by the Department … Continue reading

Christmas Bird Count

The National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) originated in 1900. It began as an alternative to the Christmas Side Hunt where people went out to see how many birds they could kill on Christmas Day. A small group … Continue reading

Winter Birding Old and New in Skagit County

Throughout the Covid Summer of 2020 and into the fall, many of us have sought ways and means to deal with a world turned upside down by the ongoing pandemic. Before the great news from the recent election, we were … Continue reading

A Proposed Broadband Advisory Group and Corporate Conflicts of Interest

Editor’s Note: The following was written as a letter to the mayor of Bellingham and members of the Bellingham City Council. Over the years, I have worked representing community needs to government authorities in a variety of countries, specifically related … Continue reading

Tribal Watersheds Report Shows Little Improvement; Hope Remains

I wish there were better news in our 2020 State of Our Watersheds Report that will be released later this month, but at best we are treading water on a few indicators of the overall health of our region’s environment, … Continue reading

A Time to Remember

This fall marks the 50th anniversary of an event that sparked the landmark ruling by federal Judge George Boldt in U.S. v. Washington that upheld our treaty-reserved rights to hunt, fish and gather. It was Sept. 9, 1970, the height … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at September 28, 2020 Meeting Update on Covid-19 Response: Whatcom County case rates have gone up; some are cases from a long-term care facility. The Health Department has received more funds from the CARES Act. They have about … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at September 29, 2020 Meeting Shall the council: 160. Appoint Patricia Lulu to the Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee? The committee advises the County Council on water quality issues in the Drayton Harbor watershed. At the … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at September 15, 2020 Meeting Shall the commission: 78. Authorize the executive director to award the low bid of 5,898 for repairs to buildings at the Teal Jones Lumber Services’ property in Sumas? At the 8/3/2004 meeting, vote … Continue reading

How Cascadian Corporations Stack Up on Climate

Rating the Climate Claims and Actions of Alaska Airlines, Albertsons, Amazon and Boeing This article was first published at When Amazon announced that its new professional hockey arena in Seattle would be called “Climate Pledge Arena,” it was … Continue reading

Supporting a Variety of Enriching Activities

                                                                 Editor’s Note: There are over 100 organizations in … Continue reading


“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” — John F. Kennedy Do … Continue reading

Post Point’s Great Blue Heron Colony: Balancing Wildlife Needs With a Growing Community

Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the December 2000 issue of Whatcom Watch. Editor’s Note: The purchase of the property by the city of Bellingham to … Continue reading

Nooksack River Streamflows Are Getting Worse

My January 2020 paper published in Whatcom Watch, “Nooksack River: Too Little Water, and it’s Getting Worse,” examined summer flows in the Nooksack River, measured at Ferndale, from 1967 to 2019.(1) These data show considerable year-to-year volatility and an underlying … Continue reading