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.

Get $10 Off Your 2023 Annual Boating Permit!

During the pandemic, the City of Bellingham offered financial relief for the Whatcom Boat Inspection program by automatically applying a $10 discount to the price of annual Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) boating permits required to launch on Lake Whatcom and Lake Samish. With the end of the Washington State COVID-19 emergency orders, annual permit costs are reverting to the pre-pandemic price structure. But the AIS boating permit discount is still available. Visit, and take the AIS Awareness Course. Complete the test to earn your "AIS Awareness Course Certificate" and a $10 online discount code for your 2023 permit purchase. Thank you for being a responsible steward of our local lakes and preventing the spread of invasive species! We look forward to seeing you on the water in 2023.

Posted January 19th, 2023

Lake Whatcom Policy Group Meeting December 7, 2022

The Lake Whatcom Policy Group will hold a hybrid in-person and virtual meeting on Wednesday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m. This is a public meeting. To attend, location information and link to join online are provided on the meeting agenda.

Posted November 29, 2022

Manage your leaves to protect our water

Leaves and other yard debris can pollute our water and cause flooding when managed incorrectly. Instead of piling debris where it may leach excess nutrients or block drainage, try one of the following options:

  • Use FoodPlus!

  • Bring them to a local disposal service

  • If composting at home, use a covered and contained compost system

If you can do so safely, please clear storm drains of leaves and debris or report blocked drains:

  • Whatcom County: (360) 778-6400

  • City of Bellingham: (360) 778-7979 or report online at

Posted November 22, 2022

October Lake Whatcom Lowdown now available

Check out the October issue of the Lake Whatcom Lowdown, our quarterly e-newsletter with watershed updates and stewardship opportunities. This latest issue provides information on the watershed work window closing, Marigold Drive Stormwater Improvements Project, We Scoop photo contest winners, storm drain marking in the Parkstone neighborhood, septic maintenance rebates, and new properties purchased to preserve forest in the watershed. Click here to subscribe! Links to past issues are available on our Resources Page.

Posted November 7, 2022