Photo by S. Stockburger, 2013


There are over 6,500 homes in the Lake Whatcom Watershed. Many of these homes have lawns and gardens that require regular upkeep to keep them looking attractive and healthy. Often, this upkeep may result in the use of fertilizers and pesticides, and other practices which may adversely impact water quality.

Did you know...
Lakes and rivers can be extremely sensitive to small amounts of phosphorus runoff. It takes 20 parts per million (ppm) of soil phosphorus to grow healthy turf; 25 parts per billion (a quantity 1000 times smaller) can promote excessive algae growth in lakes. Preventing even small amounts of phosphorus from getting into the water can make a big difference.
You can help!

Learn about lake-friendly gardening and landscaping
Are you a Lake Whatcom Watershed resident? Sign up for a free gardening class or workshop today and learn how you can make on-the-ground changes to your landscape while using gardening practices that benefit Lake Whatcom water quality. Contact: or (360) 671-3891

For additional tips and alternatives that you can use to protect water quality while maintaining healthy lawns and gardens, visit Lake-Friendly Gardening or Grow Smart, Grow Safe.

Avoid using pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn and garden
To help reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Whatcom, Whatcom County and the City of Bellingham passed regulations that restrict the use of phosphorus containing fertilizers on lawns in the Lake Whatcom Watershed. For details on these regulations and other landscaping restrictions visit the websites listed below:

Lake-Friendly Gardening
King County Native Plant Guide
Grow Smart, Grow Safe