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Clean Water


Whatcom County depends on clean water for healthy communities, a prosperous economy, and the lifestyle that makes this a special place to live. We recognize that the cost of cleaning up pollution far exceeds the cost of preventing it in the first place. The responsibility to protect and restore our waters is an increasingly urgent one. And our Clean Water program has been growing and extending its reach to ensure Whatcom County protects our precious water resources — Lake Whatcom, the Salish Sea, and all the rivers and streams that flow into it — before they are degraded beyond repair.

To that end, we employ a wide range of approaches, including: research and monitoring, empowering citizen scientists and clean water advocates, working with polluters to change their practices, engaging in public processes, holding unresponsive polluters accountable through litigation, and providing baseline data to track the health of our local waters.

The North Sound Baykeeper is charged with protecting and restoring the marine and nearshore habitats of north Puget Sound. Taking a collaborative approach, the North Sound Baykeeper partners with businesses, organizations, tribes, schools, and decision makers, offering technical assistance and innovative paths toward greater stewardship. Our North Sound Baykeeper is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance

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.


Become a North Sound Steward

Join our North Sound Stewards volunteer program and connect with a group of people passionate about protecting the North Puget Sound. The program provides free trainings and opportunities to participate in beach surveys, helping you become a qualified citizen scientist who plays an important role in protecting our marine resources. 

Volunteer groups led by marine scientists will observe sea stars, forage fish, intertidal species, and more to gather important data that informs policy, restoration efforts, cleanups, and other important projects. Read more.

2017 Legislative Session

The 2017 Washington State Legislature page provides information about legislative activity that would impact Whatcom County and the Salish Sea. The Clean Water program is working in collaboration with Washington Environmental Council's Environmental Priorities Coalition to bring you information on priorities including reducing toxic pollution in our communities; ensuring there is enough water for people, farms, and fish; and oil transportation safety. Read more.




Tenmile Clean Water Project

http://www.re-sources.org/tenmile-creek
The Tenmile Clean Water Project is an effort by residents of the Tenmile Creek Watershed to involve the community in efforts to reduce fecal coliform levels on a voluntary basis, so that bacteria levels meet water quality and TMDL (total maximum daily load) standards. Projects include monthly meetings, on-site septic inspections, and water quality monitoring. Ongoing meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Read more.



Squalicum Clean Water Project

http://www.re-sources.org/pooppledge
The Squalicum Clean Water Project is a campaign to connect with neighborhoods in the Squalicum Watershed, to inform people about the high levels of fecal coliform pollution in Squalicum Creek, and one of its primary sources: dog poop. The campaign also educates citizens on proper and timely disposal of dog poop on trails, in parks, and at home. Read more.



Bellingham Waterfront Redevelopment

http://www.re-sources.org/programs/cleanwater/waterfront
The Bellingham Waterfront Redevelopment campaign brings together community members and volunteers in the Blue Green Waterfront Coalition to advocate for a safe standard of cleanup and living-wage jobs in Bellingham's proposed waterfront redevelopment. Due to state funding cuts in 2016, most community education efforts are on hold. Visit the project page to read background information, issues of concern, and ways to get involved. Read more.



Water Quality Permits

http://www.re-sources.org/programs/cleanwater/permits
The Water Quality Permits page provides information about pollution permits issued under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and regulated by the state Department of Ecology. When permits come up for review, citizens can participate in the public process and comment on the details of the permit, calling for stronger environmental regulations where necessary. Read more.




Clean Water Blog

Visit the Clean Water Blog for information about recent projects and campaigns, opportunities to get involved, and more.

  • Washington State Legislature funds grants for community education on toxic cleanups, but rest of environmental priorities a mixed bag By Karlee Deatherage, Policy Analyst, Clean Water ProgramFrom funding for toxic cleanups to oil transportation safety and sound policies on water availability, the environmental community had huge goals for ...
    Posted Jul 13, 2017, 4:22 PM by Virginia Cleaveland
  • Activist and documentary filmmaker Rick Wood on protecting the Southern Resident orcas If you missed our June 25, 2017 event at Boulevard Park celebrating Orca Month, check out the amazing speech from orca activist and documentary filmmaker Rick Wood below. And don ...
    Posted Jul 13, 2017, 4:31 PM by Virginia Cleaveland
  • Proposed bill would alter important state water laws, threaten our children’s future In March, Republican State Senator Judy Warnick proposed a dangerous bill in the Washington State Legislature that would change state law — laws present to protect existing water rights and ensure ...
    Posted Jun 12, 2017, 2:56 PM by Hannah Coughlin
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 27. View more »



The Clean Water program  is supported by Recycling and Disposal Services (RDS).
Since 1996, RDS has been committed to using progressive recycling technologies,
minimizing impact to our environment, and supporting quality of life in Whatcom County.