December 2021 (volume 30, issue 12)

Orcas Visit Bellingham Bay

by Faith Owens Tucked into the west side of the central Salish Sea by several islands, Bellingham Bay is a rare destination for whales. However, several orcas decided to pay a visit on July 23. (1) Four members of the … Continue reading

Bellingham Will Process Sewage Into Fertilizer

by Kirsten McDade If you have lived in Whatcom County for more than a few months, you’ve probably experienced the “odeur de manure” that periodically wafts through our air — reminding us that we are a very agricultural community. Spreading … Continue reading

Post Point Renovations

Editor’s Note: This  is an excerpt from an article about anaerobic digesters and the Post Point plant that appeared in the September 2020 issue of Whatcom Watch. by Giovanni Roverso Anaerobic digesters are projected to replace a pair of aging … Continue reading

Are You Ready for Winter?

by Joe Meche With all things considered, we felt that winter was not far away when we crossed the North Cascades after a birthday weekend in Winthrop. The eastbound trip over the mountains and the first day in the Methow … Continue reading

Hatchery Fish Are Treaty Fish

by Lisa Wilson Tribal treaty rights are being attacked by so-called conservation groups that threaten legal action against our hatcheries. Hatchery production is an essential part of salmon recovery. Along with harvest, habitat and hydropower, it is one of the … Continue reading

Stopping Tire Debris From Killing Coho Salmon

by Willie Frank III and David Troutt Now that we know a chemical in our car tires is killing salmon, we have to act urgently to keep it out of the water.  Research published last year confirmed that the preservative … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at September 27, 2021 Meeting Mayor’s Report The mayor appointed Raymond Dellecker to a partial term on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. The board advises the City Council, mayor, Department of Parks and Recreation director, and other … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at September 28, 2021 Meeting Shall the council: 212. Designate four wildlife species as “Species of Local Importance?” (Public hearing held.) The Wildlife Advisory Committee recommended the Western toad also known as boreal toad … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at September 7, 2021 Meeting Shall the commission: 103. Approve a terminal services agreement (amendment #6) with the state of Alaska? The original terminal service agreement began in 1989. The agreement with the Alaska … Continue reading

Alexandra Morton’s Latest Book

by Kathleen Grimbly   Not on My Watch  How a Renegade Whale Biologist Took on Governments and Industry to Save Wild Salmon   by Alexandra Morton Random House Canada, 2021 384 pages, hardcover, .00 ISBN-13: 978-0735279667 Northern Vancouver Island — … Continue reading

Washington State Refineries and Climate Change

by Zane Gustafson and Eric de Place In 2020, the Washington state legislature legally committed to reducing emissions by 95 percent by 2050. Decarbonization makes refinery transitions inevitable, even as the precise timeline cannot be known due to shifting market … Continue reading

Habitat Is the Largest Nonprofit Builder in the World

Editor’s Note: There are over 100 organizations in Whatcom County working to provide supportive services to those experiencing chronic poverty and its associated effects: addiction, homelessness, incarceration, mental illness, and unemployment. Whatcom Watch believes these organizations often labor unnoticed by … Continue reading

A Future with Affordable Housing Choices

by Washington State Department of Commerce Funding for housing action plans and transit-oriented development helps communities address years of underbuilding that left middle- and lower-income residents priced out of housing as state’s population boomed. A 2020 report tagged Washington state … Continue reading

Soliciting Articles for Publication

  As the editor of Whatcom Watch, I’m constantly on the lookout for new writers and oftensolicit articles for publication. This month, we’re putting out the call for experienced writers. Whatcom Watch has no reporters per se and is mainly … 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

Nooksack Basin Salmon Habitat Restoration Project

Surrounded by local farmers’ fields, the rebuilt landscape features state-of-the-art technology to restore salmon access to miles of stream habitat. Local farmers are unveiling a just-completed fish habitat restoration project that has re-opened miles of salmon stream on a tributary … Continue reading

Tree Stumps in Fairhaven

by Ken Wilcox Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the December 2001 issue of Whatcom Watch. It’s now been six months, as I write this, since … Continue reading