The North Sound Baykeeper is charged with protecting and restoring marine and nearshore habitats of North Puget Sound. We take a collaborative approach: we work in coalition with other organizations, interact and partner with agencies and decision makers, offer technical assistance trainings for businesses, and encourage public involvement and stewardship through educational events and volunteer programs.

Meet your North Sound Baykeeper, Eleanor Hines!
Eleanor Hines
Lead Scientist / North Sound Baykeeper

Eleanor has a B.S. in Environmental Toxicology and M.S. in Environmental Toxicology Risk Assessment from WWU. She has experience in water quality, citizen science, marine policy, volunteer organization, and citizen engagement and has worked with the Surfrider Foundation, Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, and the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee. She has also done risk assessment modeling in South Africa with the Institute of Natural Resources to provide solutions to water issues.​

The 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 or text the Pollution Hotline:  (360) 220-0556.  
Please take photos and be prepared to discuss location and details about the pollution.

Pollution Prevention
We work to stop pollution at its source by reducing pollution flowing from agricultural, construction, and industrial sites. We also work to stop rainwater from transporting polluted runoff (which is also called stormwater) from roads, lawns, buildings, and farms into our streams, rivers, and bays. 
Stormwater is the greatest pollution threat to Puget Sound. Because it is dispersed and pervasive, stormwater pollution is particularly difficult to curtail. Q&A: What is stormwater pollution?

Learn more about our pollution prevention efforts through the Squalicum Clean Water Project page.

Watch these videos on maintaining stormwater systems: How to maintain stormwater pondshow to maintain an oil water separatorhow to maintain a stormwater control system, and how to maintain a catch basin.

Learn to fight pollution with your smartphone
Potential sources of pollution aren’t always obvious. Is something on the ground near water that seems like it shouldn’t be? Is something other than water making its way down a storm drain? Pollution Prevention Specialist Kirsten McDade will lead a series of workshops on using the Water Reporter app to help you monitor pollution — anywhere, anytime. But you can get started on your own with 3 simple steps.

Read more about the Water Reporter app here!

Pollution Permits
The North Sound Baykeeper engages citizens, volunteers, activists, and students in becoming educated about the permitting process for polluting businesses. Businesses that have the potential to pollute are required to have state permits to protect human health and wildlife, and to comply with federal Clean Water laws. 

Learn more about pollution permits and opportunities to provide public comment through the Water Quality Permits page.

Policies and Regulations
The North Sound Baykeeper is actively engaged in the development of policies and regulations affecting stormwater issues. These include commenting on the development of pollution permits and engaging in technical working groups that address county-level policies, including critical areas ordinances focusing on livestock waste and construction practices. 

Learn more about our policy work through the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan page. 

Community Education

The North Sound Baykeeper educates the community through beach naturalist events, citizen science training, citizen stakeholder groups, and sharing information through blog posts, e-newsletters, and social media.

Learn more about opportunities to get involved through the Events page, Citizen Science page, or the Clean Water Blog. You can also follow the North Sound Baykeeper on Facebook and sign up for e-newsletters.

Legal Action
If education, cooperation, and policy enforcement fail to protect our water resources, the North Sound Baykeeper sometimes turns to legal action — especially in the case of large, industrial pollution with little accountability. The federal Clean Water Act provides a safety net for citizens to bring suit against an entity who is compromising public waters. When we win a Clean Water Act suit against a polluter, we never see any money from that case. All the fines pay for restoration projects agreed upon by all litigants. Read more about what happens to Clean Water Act settlement funds