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July 14, 2017: Second summer of Bellingham Poop Patrols to highlight proper dog poop pickup practices to help prevent water pollution

posted Jul 14, 2017, 3:08 PM by Virginia Cleaveland   [ updated Jul 14, 2017, 3:10 PM ]

This summer, the Clean Water program at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities is continuing its popular Poop Patrols, a campaign to educate community members about how they can help prevent fecal coliform pollution in local waterways by picking up and properly disposing of dog poop. Last summer, the project focused on the Squalicum Watershed, but in 2017 the project is extending its reach to even more local parks.

Fecal coliform bacteria, an indicator of mammal or bird poop in the water, are found in many creeks, lakes, and beaches in Whatcom County. It indicates the likely presence of other disease-causing organisms including roundworms, E. coli, and more. When water is polluted with fecal coliform, contact with the water or eating shellfish can sicken you, your children, and your pets.

“Poop Patrols in 2016 highlighted a staggering problem — volunteers flagged more than 700 piles of discarded dog poop at just 10 events,” said Eleanor Hines, Lead Scientist at RE Sources for Sustainable Communities. “Everyone can play a part in protecting our local water quality by helping your friends and family understand the importance of picking up, bagging, and throwing away dog poop in the trash — wherever you are.”

To reach out to dog owners who may not realize the harmful impact of their dog’s poop on the environment, RE Sources is hosting Poop Patrols in parks in Bellingham and Whatcom County. During Poop Patrols, volunteers flag left behind dog poop piles to illustrate the widespread problem of poor poop pickup practices, and talk to parkgoers about the right way to dispose of dog poop and the problem of fecal coliform pollution. The flags and dog poop are always picked up at a later date.

All events are from 4:30-6 p.m., and interested participants can RSVP through Facebook.
  • Tuesday, July 18: Little Squalicum Park, 640 Marine Dr, Bellingham 
  • Thursday, August 3: Lake Padden Park, 4882 S Samish Way, Bellingham
  • Tuesday, August 15: Fairhaven Dog Park, 1717 4th St, Bellingham
  • Monday, September 4: Larrabee State Park, 245 Chuckanut Dr, Bellingham

In addition, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities is participating at two summer events to educate even more dog owners about proper dog poop pickup practices.
  • Paws & Claws Expo: Sunday, July 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Bloedel Donovan Park, 2214 Electric Avenue, Bellingham
  • Dog Days of Summer: Sunday, August 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Lake Padden Park, 4882 S Samish Way, Bellingham
At both the Poop Patrol events and the community events, participants can sign the Poop Pledge to always pick up their dog poop, and be entered into a drawing to win one of several pooper scoopers and poop pails to help support their good poop pickup practices.

Volunteers are still being recruited to help with Poop Patrols. Email sydneyh@re-sources.org or call (360) 733-8307 to sign up.

Media Contact: Virginia Cleaveland, Communications Manager, virginiac@re-sources.org (360) 733-8307 ext. 217