June 2021 (volume 30, issue 6)

Barrier Removal Brings Coho Back to Goodwin Creek

by Darrell Gray, Amy Johnson and Lorraine Wilde Coho salmon rely on streams and side channels for spawning and juvenile rearing before their migration to salt water to feed, grow and mature. They typically spawn between the ages of three … Continue reading

Whatcom’s Recyclers Face Uncertainty

by Giovanni Roverso Old Town Prepares for Redevelopment Whatcom County’s curbside recycling system went through a bit of a shakeup recently. Sanitary Service Company Inc. (SSC) trucks still collect recycling from customers in Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, and much of unincorporated … Continue reading

Coastal Sojourn

by Joe Meche It seems that every year when the calendar flips from mid- to late-April, I start thinking about shorebirds. It’s not mere coincidence, however, since it’s the prime time of year for the northbound migration of millions of … Continue reading

Seattle City Light Should Address True Costs of Skagit River Dams

by Lorraine Loomis It is time for Seattle City Light to address the damage its three hydroelectric dams have caused over the past 100 years to the Skagit River, the tribes who have always lived here and their treaty-reserved fishing … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at March 30, 2021 Special Meeting Shall the commission: 34. Transfer the land lease and project development agreement from All American Marine to RGM Holdings of Austin, Texas, for property located at 1010 Hilton … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at April 6, 2021 Meeting Shall the council: 81. Authorize the executive to sign a 3,034 contract (amendment #23) with Washington State University? The original contract — dated 9/22/1999 — was approved for mutual … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at April 12, 2021 Meeting Mayor’s Report Mayor Fleetwood announced that the city has hired Elizabeth Monahan as the new human resources director. He welcomed her to the city, and thanked Deputy Administrator Brian Heinrich for his many … Continue reading

Sea Level Rise and Its Impact on Whatcom County

by Hailee Wickersham   A coastal modeling program by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has recently been made available to the Puget Sound. The system, named CoSMoS (Coastal Storm Modeling System), has the ability to assess flood risk to certain … Continue reading

A Healthy Community Is Our Goal

by Heather Flaherty and Tessa Whitlock Editor’s Note: There are over 100 organizations in Whatcom County working to provide supportive ser- vices to those experiencing chronic poverty and its associated effects: ad- diction, homelessness, incarceration, mental illness, and unemployment. Whatcom … Continue reading


Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor “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.” — … Continue reading

Wolf Experts/Scientists Urge Biden Administration to Restore Federal Protections for Gray Wolves

Wolves lost their federal protections when the Trump administration finalized a national delisting rule in January. Since then, management of wolves has fallen to state wildlife agencies. The letter explains that “state governments have clearly indicated that they will manage … Continue reading

The Nooksack River – Solutions on the Floodplain

by Izzie Lund   In February 2020, a large flood from the Nooksack River (1) devastated parts of Whatcom County and left many wondering: what will city and county officials do next?  When it comes to reducing the effects of … Continue reading

The Native American History of Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands

by Allan Richardson   Native people have lived in the Salish Sea region for over 10,000 years. This vast time span is described by Native elders and cultural leaders as “time immemorial.” For all the time that we can easily … Continue reading

City Council Moves Forward With Single-Use Plastic Ban

by Giovanni Roverso The Bellingham City Council is moving forward with its ban of single-use plastics. The final vote was scheduled for May 24. At a Committee of the Whole meeting on May 10, Councilmember and Committee Chair Hannah Stone … Continue reading

Governor Inslee Signs Plastics and Recycling Bill

Editor’s Note: This press release was issued by 10 organizations. They are listed at the end. On Monday, May 17, Governor Jay Inslee signed SB5022 that will reduce plastic pollution and improve recycling in Washington. The bill came to him … Continue reading

Washington Has the Fifth Most Parks and Wildlife Areas in the United State

America’s protected parklands have famously been called “the best idea we ever had,” and it is easy to understand why. State and national parks showcase the country’s diverse natural beauty, are open to all comers, and accomplish important goals for … Continue reading