The Lake Whatcom Lowdown

July 2022
Quarterly Newsletter with Lake Whatcom Watershed Updates

Photo by Teagan Ward
Want to see your Lake Whatcom photo in the newsletter? Submit your photos here.
Why does Lake Whatcom have a water quality problem? What can we do about it? Watch this new short video produced by the City of Bellingham.
Save Our Water. Save Your Money.
Rebates are available to help Lake Whatcom watershed residents reduce their water use by installing high efficiency toilets, clothes washers, or irritation controllers.  Looking for more ways to reduce your water bill and help keep more water in Lake Whatcom this summer? Follow the voluntary watering schedule. Let your lawn get a tan! Visit https://www.whatcomwateralliance.org/lawns-and-landscaping for more tips. 
Marigold Drive Stormwater Improvements Project

Whatcom County is improving the stormwater system on Marigold Drive in Sudden Valley. This new treatment system is designed to improve water quality from neighborhood run-off entering Lake Louise.

Construction is scheduled for mid-July through the end of September.  However, weather and other factors could affect the project schedule and hours. Approximate working hours are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekdays. Marigold Drive will be limited to single-lane traffic control, and both lanes will reopen on nights, weekends, and holidays.

For more info and updates visit the project web page. 

New Boat? Schedule an Inspection.

We’re witnessing a surge in lake residents who have recently purchased a new or used boat. Many of the used watercraft are coming from mussel infested waters. Our inspection staff have already decontaminated 22 boats this season, more than the past two seasons combined!

If you recently purchased a boat, call ahead to schedule your Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspection (and possible decontamination) and avoid delays at the launch.

Thank you for helping protect our local waters from aquatic invasive species!

Volunteer Invasive Species Removal at Euclid Park

The City of Bellingham Parks Department hosted a successful work party at Euclid Park on April 16th. There was a great volunteer turnout! Twenty-nine volunteers removed seven cubic yards of English ivy and English Holly and spread four cubic yards of mulch. In addition, staff shared information with the volunteers about the importance of stormwater issues and Lake Whatcom.

Lake Whatcom Wildlife Bioblitz at Stimpson
On the beautiful sunny afternoon of June 8th, Bioblitz participants were greeted by Whatcom Land Trust, Whatcom County Public Works, Whatcom CD, and an occasional alligator lizard at Stimpson Nature Reserve. Over 25 visitors stopped before or after their hike to learn more about wildlife and log their wildlife observations as they hiked the trails of Stimpson Nature Reserve.
New Interactive Lake Whatcom Protected Lands Map
The Lake Whatcom Land Acquisition and Preservation Program protects our drinking water source through land purchase, conservation easements, and habitat restoration in the Lake Whatcom watershed.

Since 2001, the Lake Whatcom Land Acquisition and Preservation Program has:
  • Purchased over 2,400 acres of land for permanent protection
  • Prevented development of 830 residential units 
  • Removed over 28,000 square feet of impervious surfaces like buildings and roads
  • Planted over 40,000 native plants
  • Invested over $35.5 million in land and conservation easement purchases to protect our invaluable drinking water supply
Learn more at cob.org/lw-property-acquisition-program, including a new interactive webmap that features all the protected lands in the Lake Whatcom watershed.
City Moratorium on Multi-Family Development in Silver Beach Neighborhood
On July 11, the Bellingham City Council adopted an emergency moratorium that prohibits the City from accepting applications for development or redevelopment within all four of the residential multi-family zoned areas within the Silver Beach Neighborhood (highlighted above). The moratorium is in place for one year which gives the City time to perform additional analysis on the appropriateness of these multi-family densities given the City’s adopted goals and policies for the protection of the Lake Whatcom Reservoir.
A public hearing before the City Council will be held on August 29, 2022. The purpose of the hearing is to allow the City Council to determine whether to retain, modify or rescind the moratorium itself. Staff will not be presenting any analysis on the existing densities as it relates to the protection of water quality in Lake Whatcom. Retaining the moratorium would allow City staff to continue to perform that analysis in the months ahead. Meeting information will be available at meeting.cob.org on Wednesday, August 24.
For more information, see the Bellingham City Council meeting summary or email Kurt Nabbefeld (knabbefeld@cob.org) or Steve Sundin (ssundin@cob.org).
Look out for the next edition of The Lake Whatcom Lowdown coming in October! Please share this newsletter with your neighbors.
Whatcom County Public Works produces the Lake Whatcom Lowdown with funding from Whatcom County's Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility. Funding from the utility enhances Whatcom County's outreach for Lake Whatcom watershed residents. Visit our website to learn more.
Copyright © 2022 Whatcom County, All rights reserved.

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