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Clean & Abundant Water Lobby Week
March 1st–5th. Training the last week of February. No experience meeting with and lobbying lawmakers needed! Registration required.
Even if you’ve never lobbied a lawmaker before, you can help pass important Washington state laws for our waterways.
The word “lobbying” carries a lot of baggage. But really, lobbying is simply meeting with elected officials to have your voice heard. That’s why we think it’s time lobbying is put back into the hands of the people. We’re calling on our community to join us for Clean & Abundant Water Lobby Week from March 1st to 5th, where we’ll help make it easier to talk to your elected officials about four key bills that could become law this year. These laws would limit plastic pollution, end harmful seabed mining, and protect water rights as climate change strains precious waterways.
We’ll hold a training session the week before so you have the tools and confidence to lobby. We encourage anyone to join, whether it’s your first time talking to lawmakers or not! We’ll be right alongside you at every step of the way.
This week is organized by RE Sources and North Sound Baykeeper, Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP), Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT), Spokane Riverkeeper, Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, and Puget Soundkeeper.
What bills are we advocating for?
- Preventing incredibly damaging seabed mining (SB 5145), a practice where minerals are mechanically scraped from the seafloor. This bill prohibits leases for seabed mining of hard minerals off the Washington coast. Oregon banned the practice in the early 1990s and now is our time to join.
- Reducing Plastic Pollution and Improving Recycling (SSB 5022). Requires plastic beverage containers to contain a minimum of 15% post-consumer recycled plastic by weight by 2023, 25% by 2026, and 50% by 2031. Plastic utensils, straws, and lids are only provided on demand by food service businesses. The bill also incorporates a ban on Styrofoam packing peanuts, coolers and take-out clamshells for sale or distribution in Washington.
- Nooksack River adjudication funding (SB 5092 / HB 1094). Water rights in the Nooksack River watershed have been in disarray for decades. Knowing exactly who has rights to how much water is a vital baseline for making choices about this shared resource, which is determined via a process called “water rights adjudication.” Funding is needed to start the initial work before an adjudication can commence. Learn more about this issue. Learn more.
Community Science Speaker: The state of recycling and waste in Washington
Thursday, March 11th at 5:00 p.m. | Featuring Heather Trim of Zero Waste Washington
Washington and the world are in the midst of both a plastic waste crisis and a recycling crisis. With plastic being found everywhere from drinking water, to remote corners of the Arctic, to the bellies of baby fish mere days old, more people are realizing it’s a deep problem we cannot ignore. In Washington, we are addressing these problems through voluntary actions and local/state level policy changes, such as changing state food safety code to allow for BYOC (Bring Your Own Container). In fact, 58% of Washingtonians in a recent poll said they’re ready to end the use of styrofoam food containers.
Join Heather Trim of Zero Waste Washington to learn more about the activities around these important issues, litter assessments for clean water, and an update on bills moving through the state legislature as we speak! Part of the North Sound Stewards program.
Low tide trivia and learning to ID local beach life
Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m., March 2nd through late May | RSVP on Facebook
Are you a sea star stan? A flatworm fan? Join us for local tidal life trivia nights! Trivia will be on Tuesday nights starting at 5:00 all through March, April and May. The first trivia night is for March 2nd and we’ll take a short break the last week of March.
Even if you don’t know all the answers, trivia nights are a great way to brush up on your beach life knowledge to better appreciate our wonderful shorelines and impress your friends with your flora and fauna know-how. Questions will get progressively more challenging each month — March is beginner, April is intermediate, and May is advanced.
HOW TO JOIN:
Visit www.myquiz.org at 5:00 p.m. each Tuesday and enter the six digit code for that date (more will be added here each month)
March 2nd – 240701
March 16th – 432915
March 23rd – 444034
March 30th – 455102
If you want to study up on your own, check out our workbooks and species ID guides for the beautiful Cherry Point and Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserves!
This event is part of the North Sound Stewards community science program, but open to the public. Learn more about the North Sound Stewards program
Want to do a trash cleanup on your own?
Take a self-guided tour of Bellingham’s waterfront
Any time! Grab your smartphone with Google Maps
Complete this scavenger hunt along the way for a chance to win $25 gift certificates to The RE Store!
There are 12 toxic cleanup sites along Bellingham Bay from over 100 years of industrial activity. Use this interactive map to explore their history and how they’re being cleaned up for future use.
Meet members of Whatcom County’s environmentally minded community, hear about upcoming sustainability-oriented events and opportunities, network, and try out delicious local brews. Hosted monthly at various local businesses and organizations, usually the first Wednesday of each month. Learn more.
Make the clean energy future happen today! Protect the Salish Sea and waters that flow into it! At our meetings, climate-conscious community members get the latest updates and plan actions for accelerating a just transition to a clean energy economy and stopping pollution in our Pacific Northwest home. Learn more.
Our Environmental Heroes Awards Banquet is held each September. Each year, we honor outstanding individuals who have been instrumental in protecting this natural world that surrounds us. Heroes are selected in May of each year. Learn more.
Each year, our community shows up at Boundary Bay to support Community Jobs Training, a vocational training program that supports underserved workers. We’re strengthening our community by investing in those who need help the most. Join us each May for our annual benefit show, raffle and silent auction as we raise money to support our efforts to train displaced workers. Learn more.
Regular meetings and public participation opportunities
RE Sources scientists and policy experts engage in a number of public advisory groups, and we invite you to join us in advocating for good policies that protect communities and natural resources.
Join an engaged group of local environmental advocates and organizations that are working to protect and restore the Nooksack River watershed (also known as Water Resource Inventory Area 1 or WRIA 1). We meet monthly on the third Monday at 3:00 p.m. in RE Sources’ Community Library (map). All are welcome to join and participate so long as our group vision resonates with you: We envision a future Whatcom County where our community is unified in restoring and protecting a resilient ecosystem as our highest priority.
Questions? Want to join? Contact Karlee Deatherage at KarleeD@re-sources.org.
Forums are held twice yearly (Spring and Fall) to increase communication and collaboration across the food system, and to connect our richly diverse community organizations together to discuss important topics and strengthen our local food system. Learn more and contact Karlee at KarleeD@re-sources.org for ways to engage beyond attending the forum.
- Bellingham City Council: Usually meets every other Monday at 7:00 PM. See the City of Bellingham webpage for schedules and agendas.
- Whatcom County Council: Usually meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM. See the Whatcom County Council calendar for schedules and agendas.
- Sometimes, certain committees of the city and county councils have public meetings that are vital to attend. Make sure you’re receiving our e-newsletters to find out about opportunities to advocate for clean water, clean energy, and healthy communities locally.