Too often our community is presented with a false choice between economic stability and environmental protection — in reality, the two are intertwined. Hyper-focusing on our differences of opinion and viewpoints is causing widening division in our communities. Hatred, fear, and disregard of those who are different is harmful to our community and diminishes our ability to face social justice and climate change challenges locally and nationally.
RE Sources is committed to holding respectful conversations, seeking collaborative solutions, and partnering with stakeholders representing a broad array of interests and views to find common solutions.
We are reaching across the county to listen and build partnerships with other groups that are committed to making Whatcom County a shining example of how to create a just, coordinated and thriving local food system. We work together because we all agree on this one thing: healthy people, clean water, and economic prosperity are inseparable. RE Sources is part of several collaborations, including:
Whatcom Food Network. We serve on the Whatcom Food Network (WFN) Steering Committee to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate in support of a thriving local food system. We ensure protection of water and land, and that climate change impacts are represented in this work as we can’t have a thriving food system without clean and plentiful water, farmland, and productive soil. . We worked alongside the WFN to get policies in the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan update to create a food system plan for Whatcom County.
Tenmile Clean Water Project. Over a decade ago, we helped launch the Tenmile Clean Water Project, a citizen group who adopted their own watershed to improve water quality in rural Whatcom County. We continue to be a member of this citizen-led effort to involve rural property owners in taking action to protect and improve their watershed. One key member of the Tenmile Clean Water Project is the Whatcom Conservation District. We support their work to address water quality impacts by farms of all sizes, including smaller hobby livestock farms. Monitoring water quality using methods based in sound science is the best way to track the success of regulatory and voluntary efforts.
Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee. Our work on a sustainable food system is also focused on ensuring thriving recreational, commercial and ceremonial shellfish harvesting. As a member of the Portage Bay Shellfish District Advisory Committee, we work alongside farmers, tribes and concerned citizens to advise the County Council on actions and operations relating to the restoration of water quality in the Portage Bay watershed.
Environmental Caucus to the WRIA 1 Planning Unit. RE Sources is part of the Environmental Caucus, which represents environmental interests on the WRIA 1 (Nooksack Watershed) Planning Unit. The WRIA-1 Planning Unit is the multi-stakeholder committee tasked with creating and implementing the county’s Watershed Management Plan, which focuses on ensuring a sustainable water supply and restoring streamflows and salmon populations to the Nooksack watershed.
Agriculture stakeholder groups. RE Sources collaborates with members of the local agricultural community, from addressing water supply issues in Nooksack Watershed, to water quality sampling, from preventing urban sprawl into agricultural zones to enhancing lowland agricultural streams and riverbanks. We have also been involved in regional cooperative efforts to preserve and enhance agricultural lands and rural communities, and to identify threats to those values and the quality of life in our state.