Lake Whatcom is the drinking water source for Bellingham and surrounding areas, such as Sudden Valley. Many activities – from logging and development, to pesticides and invasive mussels hitching rides on uninspected boats – threaten the quality of our drinking water source. While much attention is devoted to reducing pollution from activities in the watershed, there is the more pressing issue of destructive invasive species, such as zebra or quagga mussels, transported into the lake by boats coming from an infested waterbody like Lake Tahoe. Zebra and quagga mussels can destroy water intake systems, boats, and property. Millions of dollars are spent annually to manage their spread in the Great Lakes and other waterbodies.
Bellingham operates an aquatic invasive species inspection program that requires all boats in the lake to have an inspection permit visible on their vessel. At Bloedel Donovan Park (one of two public launch sites – the other is a primitive launch at the south end of the lake operated by WDFW), inspections occur from late April to the end of September, seven days per week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. After hours or outside of the inspection season, there is no gate to prohibit the public from launching an uninspected boat.
Do you support installing a gate at the Bloedel Donovan Park public boat launch? Please answer yes or no and explain. If yes, will you work with city staff and your colleagues on the council to ensure resources are made available for implementation?