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Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Public Meeting April 30

posted Apr 16, 2019, 2:26 PM by Ingrid Enschede

Whatcom County Public Works is hosting a public meeting to share information about the recently completed Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility funding study on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Geneva Elementary School cafeteria, 1401 Geneva Street, Bellingham, WA 98229.
Property owners in the unincorporated portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed are encouraged to attend to learn about the proposed new stormwater utility rates and process for adoption by County Council.  For more information visit http://whatcomcounty.us/2830/Lake-Whatcom-Stormwater-Utility 

Lake Whatcom Joint Councils and Commission to meet March 27

posted Mar 22, 2019, 6:24 PM by City of Bellingham

The Lake Whatcom Management Program will host its annual Lake Whatcom Joint Councils and Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bellingham City Council Chambers, 210 Lottie St. Members of the Bellingham City Council, Whatcom County Council, and the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District Board of Commissioners will be in attendance. The meeting will be open to the public and aired on BTV at a later date.
“The County and City have been accelerating efforts to clean up and protect Lake Whatcom. There is still lots to be done, and this is a great opportunity for the public to hear about it,” said County Councilmember Todd Donovan, Chair of the County’s Natural Resources Committee.  Gene Knutson, Public Works and Natural Resources chair for the Bellingham City Council, noted that “this meeting of the joint councils and water district reps is a great way for the general public to see and hear what we have done for all these years with our water supply. I am optimistic that our work will meet the state’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) deadline a lot sooner than expected."

An open house will be held immediately before the meeting from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. featuring posters, maps, and literature about Lake Whatcom programs and planning. The open house provides an opportunity for members of the public to talk with program staff about specific lake issues or initiatives.

The following topics are scheduled to be discussed at the meeting:

Review of recent water quality trends affecting the lake 
Report on findings of a survey of watershed residents, and planned homeowner engagement projects
Update on a new stormwater district to fund county water quality improvement projects
Update on purchases or easements of watershed lands

Public comment is scheduled for the end of the meeting. The 2018 Lake Whatcom Progress Report and other information can be found on the Lake Whatcom Management Program website at ​www.lakewhatcom.whatcomcounty.org/resources.  The meeting agenda and packet can be found at meetings.cob.org.​

Media Contacts
Renee LaCroix, Assistant Public Works Director
Public Works - Natural Resources
City of Bellingham 
(360) 778-7966 or rlacroix@cob.org

Gary Stoyka, Natural Resources Manager
Whatcom County Public Works 
(360) 778-6218 or GStoyka@co.whatcom.wa.us

Justin Clary, General Manager
Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District
(360) 734-9224 or justin.clary@lwwsd.org 

Lake Whatcom Watershed Baseline Survey Findings Report Available

posted Feb 1, 2019, 2:20 PM by Ingrid Enschede

The Lake Whatcom Management Program completed a comprehensive baseline survey of Lake Whatcom watershed residents in the fall of 2018.  Findings from this survey are now available for download on the Resources Page. The purpose of the survey was to gather information on beneficial practices, awareness, and attitudes of watershed residents related to watershed health and management program objectives. The results from this survey set a baseline for specific management program areas.  The intent is to repeat the survey every five years to measure changes in watershed residents practices, awareness, and attitudes to evaluate program effectiveness and inform long-term planning.

Sustainable Landscaping Class - Fall 2018 registration now open

posted Aug 15, 2018, 10:55 AM by Ingrid Enschede   [ updated Aug 15, 2018, 11:00 AM ]

Registration is now open for the fall 2018 Sustainable Landscaping Class - Gardening Green.  This class provides practical information on simple yet powerful actions you can take in your own landscape to protect the environment and human health.  The class is free but class size is limited and registration is required.  The class includes six sessions from September 17 - October 3. Registration is open to all.  For more information read the flier and contact Sue Taylor at sl-taylor@comcast.net or (360) 671-3891. 

Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Funding Study Update

posted Jun 19, 2018, 3:25 PM by Ingrid Enschede

Whatcom County Public Works is conducting a study to evaluate funding and rate structure options for the new Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility service area, which is the portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed outside of city limits.  The funding study began this month and will take a minimum of six months to complete.  Whatcom County Council established the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Advisory Committee to provide stakeholder input and recommendations on the future stormwater utility rate structure.  Advisory committee meetings are open to the public with designated public comment periods. 
Residents and property owners in the new Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area are encouraged to visit http://whatcomcounty.us/2830/Lake-Whatcom-Stormwater-Utility to learn more and provide their input.  

Now available on the website:
  • Funding study summary with answers to frequently asked questions
  • Comprehensive list of questions and comments received at the April 18 public meeting with staff response
  • Advisory committee meeting documents
  • Study issue papers
  • Instructions on how to sign up to receive meeting notifications and submit public comments and questions

Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Advisory Committee Meeting June 6

posted Jun 6, 2018, 11:56 AM by Ingrid Enschede

The first meeting of the new Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Advisory Committee will be Wednesday, June 6, 2018 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Geneva Fire Station meeting room, 4518 Cable Street, Bellingham, WA 98229.  For more information about this meeting and to sign up to receive notifications of future meetings please visit http://whatcomcounty.us/2830/Lake-Whatcom-Stormwater-Utility

Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Public Meeting April 18

posted Apr 5, 2018, 11:35 AM by Ingrid Enschede   [ updated Apr 6, 2018, 9:15 AM by City of Bellingham ]

Whatcom County Public Works is hosting a public meeting to discuss the Lake Whatcom Stormwater Utility Service Area on Wednesday, April 18, 6:30 p.m. at the Bloedel Donovan Park Multipurpose Room, 2114 Electric Ave., Bellingham, WA 98229.  Property owners in the unincorporated portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed are encouraged to attend to learn about this new service area and upcoming funding plan process.  For more information, visit the Whatcom County website page.















Lake Whatcom Joint Councils and Commission to meet March 28

posted Mar 22, 2018, 11:55 AM by City of Bellingham   [ updated Mar 22, 2018, 4:43 PM ]

Legislators to be briefed on progress in improving the lake
by Mark Gardner, City Council Legislative Analyst / Originally posted on City of Bellingham website on March 21, 2018 (Wednesday)

The Lake Whatcom Management Program invites the public to attend the annual Lake Whatcom Joint Councils and Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 28 in the Bellingham City Council Chambers, 210 Lottie Street. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be recorded for later airing on BTV. The meeting will be attended by members of the Bellingham City Council, Whatcom County Council, and the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District Board.

"This is always a very informational meeting on what the city and county are doing to keep our lake safe and the water drinkable for all. Our staffs do great work on behalf of all who drink the water and love the lake," said City Council Member Gene Knutson, Chair of the Public Works and Natural Resources Committee that oversees Bellingham efforts to protect the lake.

Of particular interest to community members is an open house to be held immediately before the meeting, from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., featuring posters, maps, and literature about Lake Whatcom programs and planning. The open house provides the opportunity for members of the public to talk with program staff about specific lake issues or initiatives.

The following topics are scheduled:
  • Review of recent water quality trends affecting the lake
  • Update on progress in meeting the Department of Ecology's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits on nutrients and pollutants in the lake and tributaries
  • Overview of a new stormwater district to fund county water quality improvement projects
  • Status report on progress in developing new parks in the watershed
  • Planned survey of watershed residents
Public comment is scheduled for the end of the meeting. Links to meeting materials can be found below:
Renee LaCroix, Assistant Public Works Director
City of Bellingham Public Works Department
360-778-7966, rlacroix@cob.org

Gary Stoyka, Natural Resources Manager
Whatcom County Public Works Department

Patrick Sorensen, General Manager
Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District 

Report highlights 2017 Boat Inspection Program results

posted Feb 23, 2018, 1:18 PM by City of Bellingham   [ updated Feb 23, 2018, 1:19 PM ]

The Whatcom Boat Inspection Program conducted 12,150 boat inspections at Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish during the 2017 boating season to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species to Whatcom County waters.

While the majority of boats inspected had been properly cleaned, drained, and dried, AIS inspectors intercepted 150 boats transporting vegetation and 175 boats that were wet or were found to have standing water. These boats were of particular concern because standing water can host and spread the microscopic larvae of damaging aquatic invasive species, such as zebra or quagga mussels.

If introduced, the impacts of these invasive mussels would be felt by our entire community. These mussels could attach to and damage public and private infrastructure, make shoreline areas hazardous or uninviting for recreational users and property owners, cause long-term taste and odor problems in our drinking water, and displace and outcompete native aquatic species.

The inspected watercraft came from a total of 285 different water bodies in 26 different states or provinces prior to launching at Lake Whatcom or Lake Samish in 2017, including fourteen water bodies infested with invasive mussels. As watercraft continue to arrive from high-risk waters, the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program remains an important defense in the protection of our local lakes.

The Lake Whatcom Management Program has been operating a mandatory watercraft inspection program since April 2013. Inspections and aquatic invasive species permits are required for all watercraft operating on Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. Over 40,000 inspections of both motorized and non-motorized watercraft have been conducted to date by the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program. In addition to quagga and zebra mussels, inspectors are looking for invasive aquatic plants and New Zealand mudsnails.

More detailed results from the 2017 boating season can be found in the Whatcom Boat Inspections 2017 Annual Report and by viewing our interactive Story Map that shows the last water body visited by boats entering Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. For more information visit: www.whatcomboatinspections.com

 

Lake Whatcom Capital Project Plan Update

posted Jul 18, 2017, 12:12 PM by City of Bellingham   [ updated Jul 24, 2017, 12:58 PM by Ingrid Enschede ]

http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/DocumentCenter/View/29285
The Lake Whatcom Comprehensive Stormwater Plan was completed in 2008. It includes an analysis of threats to water quality and watershed health and recommended solutions to protect Lake Whatcom. Whatcom County Public Works uses the Lake Whatcom Comprehensive Stormwater Plan to guide water quality treatment project identification and prioritization. All capital projects included in the current plan have either been built or are on the County's current six-year capital project plan. Whatcom County has completed an update to the capital project section of the plan. The update identifies and prioritizes new water quality treatment capital projects within the county portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed (outside city limits).

The update process includes:
  • Collecting information on known surface water problems and possible water quality treatment capital projects from the public and Lake Whatcom Management Program partners. 
  • Engineering analysis to identify and scope new capital projects.
  • Evaluation and prioritization of proposed projects based on preliminary cost estimates and estimated phosphorus load reduction.
  • Developing conceptual designs for priority capital projects.
  • Developing a draft and final addendum to the Lake Whatcom Comprehensive Stormwater Plan.
The Draft Lake Whatcom Capital Project Plan is now ready for review. Should you have questions or comments please contact Kirk Christensen by email or by phone at (360) 778-6210.  Please provide comments on the draft plan by August 4, 2017.  

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