Our Impact

RE Sources staff, board, and thousands of community supporters deliver lasting results for our communities, region, and planet.

Since our earliest beginnings as a neighborhood recycling program in 1982, to our decades as a dynamic environmental advocacy and education organization, RE Sources delivers results for our communities, region, and planet. Our team and thousands of community supporters have made a lasting impact. We are…

Protecting the Salish Sea and fighting pollution

Spearheading RE Sources’ work on this front is our local Waterkeeper program, in collaboration with the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Over the years, we have:

  • Taken legal action against polluters utilizing the Clean Water Act.
  • Sounded the alarm on dangerous or polluting project proposals in our region and mobilized our supporters to make their voices heard.
  • Trained hundreds of community scientists to accurately document and track data on the health of our local shorelines.
  • Cleaned over 100 miles of beaches and freshwater shorelines.
  • Filed expert environmental comments and scientific opinion on hundreds of permit applications, cleanup efforts, local, county and state bills and code amendments.

Defending the region’s forests and watersheds

Halting dangerous fossil fuel projects

  • Coal port proposal defeated: RE Sources sounded the alarm on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project in 2011– what would have been North America’s largest coal export facility. Following the leadership of Lummi Nation, we mobilized communities across our region and the project was cancelled in 2016.
  • Secured temporary moratoria on new coal, oil and gas terminals and capacity: Following GPT’s defeat, RE Sources has safeguarded against the growing threat of new or expanding fossil fuel facilities and shipments in the Salish Sea by working with allies to pass a moratorium on new facilities in Whatcom County while we advocated for land-use rules that are safer for communities and local waterways.
  • Helped ensure passage of the Cherry Point Amendments in 2021, making Whatcom County one of the first refinery communities in the U.S. to permanently prohibit new fossil fuel refineries, piers, transshipment facilities.

Pushing for climate action and clean, renewable energy

Expanding environmental education and youth action

Through our Educating for the Environment program, we have spearheaded innovative educational programs that provide teachers with resources and staffing to get students outside and thinking critically about their impact. In recent years, this has included:

  • Environmental education in more than 40 schools and 7 districts in our region each year.
  • Reached approximately 4,500 students each year.
  • Helped create and certify 97 green classrooms in the 2018 – 2019 school year, leaving students more empowered to conserve water and energy, and reduce their waste.
  • Launching the Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!) program, giving teenagers in Whatcom and Skagit counties tools to make their voices heard and act on challenges at the nexus of local climate impacts and climate justice.

Reducing waste through The RE Store

The RE Store leads the way to create a culture of reuse in a single-use world. Each year The RE Store has a tangible impact right here at home:

  • Saving the community over $1 million in building materials costs.
  • Diverting nearly 3 million pounds of quality building supplies from the landfill.
  • Providing more than 1,500 hours of accessible on-the-job training opportunities.

Check out our latest accomplishments in our 2024 Impact Report