Birch Bay Watershed & Aquatic Resources Management District

October 2022
Monthly Newsletter with Birch Bay Watershed Updates

Low tide in Birch Bay
Photo by Holly Faulstich

Want to see your Birch Bay photo in the newsletter? Submit your photos here.

Recreational Shellfish Harvest Closure
Danger. Toxic Shellfish. Do not eat clams, oysters, mussels, or scallops. Photo of danger sign on beach.

The Washington Department of Health (DOH) has closed recreational molluscan shellfish for all of Whatcom County. The PSP biotoxin exceeds the limit for safe harvest in this area.

Here is the information you should know: 

  • Molluscan shellfish include clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops. 
  • Cooking or freezing does not destroy paralytic shellfish poisoning and other naturally occurring biotoxins.
  • Biotoxins do not affect crab meat but can be found in “crab butter” and crab entrails. Consumers should always discard “crab butter” and crab entrails.
  • Shellfish growers are required to test shellfish sold in restaurants and markets before distribution. These shellfish are safe to eat.

Before harvesting any shellfish in Washington State, remember to check the DOH Shellfish Safety map at www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety or call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632.

Click here for the latest biotoxin bulletin as of, October 6th and here for the latest news flash.  

Keep Storm Drains Clear
Fall leaves along curb
Leaves and other yard waste piled near ditches, roads, or waterways can leach excess nutrients, causing pollution, or block drainage pathways, causing flooding.  Manage your yard waste by using FoodPlus!, bringing it to a local disposal service, or composting at home using a contained system. 

If you see leaves on a drain that can be safely cleared, use your rake to remove and dispose of them properly. You can also call 360-778-6400 to report blocked drains.
Go to
whatcomcounty.us/yardwaste to learn more.

Be “Waste Wise”

Waste Wise Online Waste & Recycling Portal website homepage

Do you have household waste sitting around, but don’t know how to dispose of it? Check out WasteWise! It’s an online waste and recycling portal that provides information on the proper disposal of most types of waste. Just type the item you want to learn about into the search wizard, and WasteWise will give you information about how to safely dispose of your item. 

Free Tarps for Manure Piles
Free Tarps to Cover Manure Piles Available. Protect your nutrients from runoff and improve composting. Contact us today at (360) 815-5358 or CCheever@whatcomcd.org. Photo of tarp covering manure pile

You can’t have farm animals without also having manure, but you can decide how valuable that manure is. Manure can act as a fertilizer for your crops and pastures. Covering your manure pile can increase its internal temperature, speeding up the breakdown process of the material and killing parasites. This helps you retain nutrients in the pile instead of having rain transport them away.  

If you are interested in a free tarp to cover your manure pile visit the WCD website. You can also learn more about their small farm rebate program. Participants can receive up to $200 off heavy-use area footing materials, fencing, gutters and outlets!

The 10th Annual Run with the Chums was a Success!
Photo of Run with the Chums finishers
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 10th Annual Run with the Chums 5K Fun Run/Walk! We all had so much fun celebrating healthy water, healthy people, and healthy habitat! For anyone who was not able to be there in person or would like to see more photos of the event, Whatcom CD has posted an event re-cap on their blog
Thanks for Taking the Car Care Pledge!

Whatcom County Public Works tent set up along the Birch Bay Berm for the Stormwater Pop-up eventOur staff celebrated Whatcom Water Week last month by talking with over 60 community community members along the berm. We chatted about ways to prevent water pollution and tips on water use efficiency.   Many people signed our car care pledge which asked people to wash their car responsibly, check for leaks, and check their tire pressure to help protect water quality. We also distributed some useful tools to help with car care, pet waste management, and water use efficiency.   

Help Create Salmon Habitat in Terrell Creek

Terrell Creek Work Party. November 19th 9am-12pm. 7039 Jackson Rd Blaine, WA 98230. www.n-sea.org/stream-stewards. Photo of planting event from last spring.

Salmon spawning has begun in Whatcom County, including in Terrell Creek! BBWARM has worked hard with NSEA, and the Whatcom Conservation District to restore salmon habitat and remove fish passage barriers along Terrell Creek. You may find salmon in areas you have not seen them before! 

Do you want to help the salmon in your watershed? Join BBWARM, Whatcom Conservation District, and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association at a Terrell Creek Restoration Party on November 19th and November 26th! Learn more and register at: www.n-sea.org/stream-stewards

How's the Water Quality in Birch Bay?

Visit the Whatcom County Public Works’ Routine Water Quality Results page for links to online maps and status reports for focus areas throughout Whatcom County. 

Quarterly Advisory Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the BBWARM Advisory Committee will be held on October 12th from 6-8pm at the BP Heron Center. The general public is invited to join us, and a public comment period will be held at the beginning of the meeting. 

You can view the 2022 meeting schedule, documents, and Zoom link on the BBWARM Advisory Committee website.  

Other BBWARM News and Resources:

Upcoming events: 

  • Join Whatcom Conservation District, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and the Whatcom Land Trust in restoring salmon habitat along California Creek on October 15th as part of Orca Recovery Day!
  • Join BBWARM, Whatcom Conservation District, and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association at a Terrell Creek Restoration Party on November 19th and November 26th! Learn more and register on the NSEA website.  

Please share this newsletter with your neighbors!
What is BBWARM? 
The Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District is the stormwater management district for the Birch Bay watershed managed by the Whatcom County Public Works Stormwater Division and a citizen advisory committee.  BBWARM was established by the Whatcom County Council to address citizen concerns about water quality, flooding, and the loss of aquatic habitat.  Visit our website to learn about BBWARM programs, history, and funding.  

Copyright © 2022 Whatcom County, All rights reserved.

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