Photo by K. Moran, 2014

Lake Whatcom is a vital resource, providing drinking water, recreation and wildlife habitat to our community. The City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, and the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District formed the Lake Whatcom Management Program in 1998 to coordinate programs and projects that restore, protect and preserve Lake Whatcom and its surrounding watershed. 

Photo by T. Ward, 2015

Our Progress

Learn more about program goals and actions. Track our progress.

Photo by G. Mednick, 2019

Get Involved

Learn more about actions you can take to help prevent pollution and protect Lake Whatcom.

Photo by City of Bellingham, 2018

What's New

Learn more about Lake Whatcom Management Program news, meetings, and events.

Electric Avenue bridge over Whatcom Creek CLOSED

The bridge on Electric Avenue at Whatcom Creek will be closed to vehicle traffic on June 3, due to critical structural failures identified during a recent inspection. The safety of the public is our top priority. A routine inspection revealed more concerning issues than initially anticipated, necessitating the immediate closure.

What you need to know:

As you plan your routes around Lake Whatcom, please be aware of this bridge closure. Visit the City of Bellingham's Electric Avenue Bridge Reconstruction project page for updates through the Summer. 

Impacts to Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish This Summer

This year there are several construction improvements coming to parks and boat launches in Whatcom County. Be aware of these projects and plan your trips accordingly!

Bloedel Donovan Construction - Starting June 3, Bloedel Donovan Park will be impacted by construction as crews replace electrical lines and stormwater infrastructure around the Bloedel Donovan Multipurpose Room. The project is expected to be completed in the Fall. Park and lake access, boat launches, swim docks, the Bloedel Boathouse, Whatcom Rowers building, playgrounds, and restrooms will also remain open during construction. Find more information and answers to frequently asked questions at Bloedel Donovan Building Renovations.

Lake Samish Bridge Construction - Starting June 3rd 2024 and running until Summer of 2025, Lake Samish Park will be closed for the N. Lake Samish Bridge Replacement Project. Additionally, the pedestrian bridge along the lakeside trail near the boat dock will be closed and repaired during the parks closure. Boat launches are open but access to the western basin of Lake Samish will be closed. For more updates and information, visit Whatcom County’s N. Lake Samish Bridge project page. 

South Bay Boat Launch Closure - Lake Whatcom’s South Bay boat launch will be closed to all traffic from Monday, June 3 to Friday, June 14 while it is being paved. The boat launch is scheduled to re-open Saturday, June 15.

Lake Whatcom Watershed Work Window Opens

June 1st is the first day of the work window for ground disturbing activities in the Lake Whatcom watershed. Ground disturbing activities include clearing vegetation, adding topsoil or fill, and other activities that move or expose soil. Dirty water flowing into Lake Whatcom adds phosphorus, harming water quality and aquatic life. Special regulations apply to prevent erosion during the rainy season, and as such, the work window is only open from June 1st through September 30th. Learn more:

Thank you for timing your work to prevent erosion!

Posted May 31, 2024

Reduce Your Phosphorus Use

Excess phosphorus can enter waterways, where it causes algal blooms that lead to depleted oxygen in the water. You can limit the amount by learning environmental-friendly gardening techniques and by using phosphorus-free fertilizers when necessary. The WSU Extension Gardening Green Course is a great place to learn.


Fertilizer products list three numbers from left to right for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).  For a phosphorus-free fertilizer, make sure the middle number is zero. Local laws prohibit using fertilizer containing phosphorus in the Lake Whatcom watershed and State law prohibits the sale and application of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus.

Posted: May 20, 2024

AIS Boat Inspections Now Open

It’s that time of the year again! April 27th marks the start of the 2024 summer boating season for the Whatcom Boat Inspection Program. Aquatic Invasive Species Program staff will be conducting watercraft inspections and decontaminations at four sites in the Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish Watershed. Our season schedule is as follows:

Posted: April 27, 2024