We promote sustainable communities and protect the health of northwestern Washington’s people and ecosystems through application of science, education, advocacy and action.

Protect shorelines from climate impacts

Our valuable shorelines — relied upon by oysters, clams, herring, salmon, even orcas — are in urgent need of protection, and we have a chance right now to update the Shoreline Management Program that governs Whatcom's shores. 

Whatcom shorelines provide habitats that are essential for endangered salmon and orcas‘ survival. Can you help us protect Whatcom’s waters? 

Clean a beach after Fourth of July!

Locust Beach (Bellingham)
Friday, July 5th
12:00 - 2:00 PM, with Surfrider Northwest Straits Chapter
Locust Beach, Bellingham (map)
More info. Contact Kirsten McDade with any questions, kirstenm@re-sources.org

Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve (Ferndale)
Saturday, July 6th
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, with the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee
Gulf Road Beach, Ferndale (map). Contact Lilya Jaeren with any questions, lilyaj@re-sources.org

Fourth of July celebrations can leave a lot of trash around the marine environment. Help clean up our local shorelines!

Join us for a post-Fourth of July beach cleanup at Locust Beach! Cleanup supplies will be provided along with light snacks. Please RSVP (Bellingham cleanup hereCherry Point cleanup here) so we know how much cleanup supplies to bring.

Bellingham waterfront cleanup tour: Central Waterfront

Wednesday, July 10th
12:00 - 1:30 PM
1000 F Street, Bellingham (map)
More info. Contact Kirsten McDade with any questions, kirstenm@re-sources.org 

Get connected with Bellingham's waterfront and its history! This is your chance to learn about and give input on the future of a cleanup site along Bellingham Bay after its 100+ year legacy of industry left toxic contaminants in the soil, groundwater, and sediments.

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities will lead a public tour of the Central Waterfront site, which holds contamination from industrial activity like lumber mills, bulk fuel terminals, foundry operations, a landfill, and more. Staff from the Department of Ecology, City of Bellingham, and Port of Bellingham will be present to answer questions and encourage public comments on the cleanup plan released by Ecology (how to comment on the cleanup here).

Hold fossil fuel industry accountable for impacts to the Salish Sea and communities

Public Hearing: Final Moratorium Extension
Tuesday, July 9th
Whatcom County Council Chambers
311 Grand Ave, Bellingham (map
6:15 PM: Sign up to speak
7:00 PM: Council meeting and hearing

We have a rare opportunity in the coming weeks to hold oil companies accountable for the impacts of their fossil fuel projectsAt the same time, the Whatcom County Council will also vote on extending (for the seventh time) the temporary moratorium on risky new fossil fuel shipment projects at Cherry Point. 

On June 18th, the Whatcom County Council released a draft of new code amendments aiming to protect our communities from dangerous fossil fuel expansions. But the draft is weak, and does not hold existing oil refineries to high enough standards.  We already have enough hazards from oil trains, tankers and pipelines here — it’s time Whatcom County set legally enforceable standards to protect public safety and the environment. The Council has indicated they may vote to pre-approve the weakened code amendments on July 9th. Come to the July 9th public hearing, wear red, and speak up for a stronger set of protections that'll actually keep people, the Salish Sea, and our air safe! 

Statewide wins for orcas, clean energy, and more in the 2019 legislature

The health of the environment and Washington residents depended heavily on lawmakers’ choices this year — from a dwindling southern resident orca population to devastating wildfires exacerbated by a changing climate. After a four-month session full of community members calling on their lawmakers to tackle these issues, 42 laws related to environmental and community wellbeing passed!

Read about the successes here, including going 100% clean electricity statewide, sweeping protections for orcas, expediting toxic cleanups, protecting families from pollutants, better oversight for seasonal farmworker programs, and much more.

In collaboration with the Environmental Priorities Coalition, we advocated for and tracked several issues of significance to the people and ecosystems of the North Puget Sound. See the what the final status of key environmental priority bills we watched here.

Salish Splash! Watch us jump for joy (and orca recovery)

This year, the Washington State Legislature passed a critical package of orca recovery bills that address the many threats faced by Southern Resident orcas. Together, we celebrated this win with Salish Splashes in several cities along the Salish Sea!

We challenged friends, family, and colleagues to jump into Bellingham Bay with us — What better way to show your support and enthusiasm for orca recovery than by jumping for joy into the water?  

Last year, we celebrated Puget Sound being designated a No Discharge Zone, prohibiting boats from dumping raw or partially-treated sewage right into the water. See the video here.

Bellingham’s waterfront: New public spaces, new hope for orcas

Did you know there are many ways our little length of shoreline in Bellingham Bay can play a key role in restoring our orca population, even though orcas are rarely seen here? To start a conversation about it, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures and our North Sound Baykeeper, Eleanor, took eight interested paddlers out on a kayak tour of Bellingham’s waterfront to celebrate Orca Month in 2018. They launched tandem kayaks from Zuanich Park for a close-up look at seven spots along the waterfront — including some sites the public hasn’t had access to for decades.  Read the North Sound Baykeeper's story here on our Clean Water Blog.

Balancing Water Supply Demands

Whatcom County depends on a reliable water supply for farms, wild salmon, healthy communities, and the outdoor lifestyle that makes this a special place to live. But plentiful water is not forever guaranteed, so we must work together to ensure enough water certainty for all, now and into the future. There’s plenty of water in the Pacific Northwest during much of the year. But only 10% of our annual rainfall occurs during the summer, when water is in greatest demand by agriculture, homes, and spawning salmon. Whatcom County is at a critical juncture in how we manage our water supply. Your input is needed to help balance the needs of all water users — including salmon. Read more. 

It takes a team effort to keep Whatcom County’s water clean

In Whatcom County, we have learned the hard way that we can’t take our good fortune for granted. From the efforts to restore Bellingham’s waterfront, you know that the cost of cleanup far exceeds the cost of prevention. You also know that declining water quality in Lake Whatcom, the drinking water source for 100,000 residents, gets more and more expensive to treat – a cost ultimately borne by you and me. 

To keep Whatcom County special, we need to be vigilant. We need to be careful. And we need to take action when pollution does taint our precious waters. That is RE Sources’ job, and we’ve done it for 35 years – upholding standards of respect, integrity, and always keeping an eye toward the future we are creating for our grandchildren. They deserve a future in which a prosperous community and clean water continue to coexist. Read more.

Waterkeeper Alliance member

Our North Sound Baykeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international nonprofit that strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water. The Waterkeeper Alliance is made up of over 300 organizations and affiliates protecting rivers, lakes and coastal waterways on 6 continents, with a goal of swimmable, drinkable, fishable water everywhere. Learn more.

If you see pollution, report it! Call the Pollution Hotline:  (360) 220-0556.  
Please take photos and be prepared to discuss location and details about the pollution.

Special thanks to our business sponsors and partners who help make our work possible: 

Special thanks to our cornerstone sponsor, Recycling & Disposal Services Inc (RDS), local, privately owned transfer station in Ferndale with progressive waste management practices.

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As a 501(c)(3) organization, RE Sources does not directly or indirectly influence any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities tax ID number is 91-1243957.