May 2019 (volume 28, issue 5)

Glaciers of the North Cascades: A Dwindling Water Resource

by Erin McConnell   It’s a sunny August day, and all four members of the North Cascades Glacier Climate Project (NCGCP) research team are pretty beat. Today marks one full week into the field season, and the day-long backpacking treks … Continue reading

Lake Whatcom Water Quality Continues to Decline

by April Markiewicz   “Something is going on.” That is the phrase being used behind the scenes to describe some of the latest data in the Lake Whatcom Monitoring Project 2017/2018 Report by Matthews et al. (2019). Lake Whatcom (for … Continue reading

Spring Birds, Nests, and Nesting Boxes

by Joe Meche The Birds During this time of year the seasonal transition is mostly complete. Many of our wintering birds have left and made room for the species that are coming in to spend the spring and summer with … Continue reading

Scientist’s Advice for Climate Task Force

by Ray Kamada To Whatcom Watch Readers: I’m Ray Kamada, a retired atmospheric scientist (specialties were research in air pollution, turbulence, boundary layer and mesoscale meteorology in terms of theory development, computer modeling, field studies, and data analysis, with some … Continue reading

More Hatchery Fish Needed

by Lorraine Loomis The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to strategically release an additional 50 million Chinook from its hatcheries this year to benefit starving southern resident orcas. Opponents of the proposal argue that we must choose … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at March 11, 2019 Meeting Shall the council: 44. Relinquish a portion of a utility easement located on the north right-of-way boundary of Barkley Boulevard, between unimproved Rimland Drive and St. Clair Street? (Public hearing held.) The right-of-way … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at March 12, 2019 Meeting Shall the council: 58. Authorize the executive to sign a 6,883 contract with the Whatcom Conservation District for the homeowner incentive program? At the 7/9/2013 meeting, vote #111, the … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at March 5, 2019 Meeting Shall the commission: 31. Authorize the executive director to award the low bid of 5,320 to Barron Heating and Air Conditioning of Ferndale for air handling units? The Fairhaven … Continue reading

Three Incredible Days in Atlanta

by Betsy Gross Editor’s Note: The column is digressing this month and covering a climate conference Betsy attended on March 14, 15 and 16 in Atlanta, Georgia. “You came to learn; you will leave to serve.” With these words, the … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District 2019 Election Results

Ballots were tallied in the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office at the Courthouse. Total votes counted in recent elections. 2018 — 4,398 2017 — 4,788 2016 — 1,221 2015 — 4,017 As of April 3, 2019, the unofficial results: Valeri Wade … Continue reading

Social Networks a Key to Orca Survival

by Sarah DeWeerdt Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Understanding the social networks and family bonds of Puget Sound’s southern resident orcas may be critical to keeping the endangered whales from extinction. A … Continue reading

Fire Season, Again

by Peter Heffelfinger Earlier this year, I attended a lecture by a fire ecology professor from WWU. on the upcoming fire season in the Pacific Northwest. The talk was presented by the Friends of the Forest, the local environmental group … 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

The Nooksack River: A Treasure to Preserve

by Ron Kleinknecht Part 3 Efforts to Reclaim the Nooksack   In Parts 1 and 2 of this series (1, 2), I described the Nooksack River and how its three forks joined from the glaciers and watersheds surrounding the Mount … Continue reading

Bicycling and Wellness

by Donna Merlina Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the May 1999 issue of Whatcom Watch.                     … Continue reading

San Juan Island Oil Spill on Earth Day

by Kevin Ranker On Earth Day [Thursday, April 22, 1999] we had a small, but significant oil spill reach the west side of the San Juan Islands. The source has yet to be identified. First thing Thursday morning, Earth Day, … Continue reading

About Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom is the primary drinking water source for about 100,000 residents of Whatcom County. The lake is comprised of three sub-basins from which samples are collected in October through December, in February and April through September each year. The … Continue reading

How We Can Keep Lake Whatcom Safe and Clean

by Karlee Deatherage Our drinking water is at a tipping point. The drinking water source for over 100,000 Whatcom County residents, Lake Whatcom, faces an onslaught of threats — from logging and development to pesticides and invasive mussels hitching rides … Continue reading

Washington Wolf Population Rose Slightly in 2018

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said the state’s wolf population has grown slightly to a minimum of 126 wolves, with 27 packs and 15 breeding pairs. The news comes despite state wildlife managers killing several wolves at the … Continue reading