Community Voices / Whose water is it in Whatcom County?
This may surprise you: Water, even in wet Whatcom County, is a scarce resource.
As wildfire smoke endangers health indoors and out, questions arise about government response
Toxic tansy ragwort is having a boom year
Pernicious, invasive and even sometimes deadly for livestock, tansy ragwort has enjoyed a booming bloom this summer in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties and across the rest of western Washington and Oregon.
Proposed Roberts Bank terminal will add cargo capacity — but at what cost to Salish Sea
A lesser-known yet major Canadian infrastructure project could bring major changes to shipping traffic in waters shared by British Columbia and Washington. If constructed, Roberts Bank Terminal 2, would enable Canada to move another 2.4 million shipping containers per year through its southernmost terminal about 1 mile from the Washington state border.
More scrutiny sought on proposed logging around North Fork near Glacier
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed logging about 5,700 acres near the North Fork of the Nooksack River around Glacier, Canyon and Wells creeks. Called the North Fork Nooksack Vegetation Management Project, the proposal focuses on the timber harvest part of the Forest Service’s multiuse mandate. That puts it at odds with the priorities of some conservation groups, and it is being met with requests for further evaluation.
Solidarity rally, Cornwall landfill, Cherry Point occupy local officials during the week ending June 12
City officials praised organizers and participants of Bellingham’s Peaceful Solidarity Rally on June 6 at Maritime Heritage Park, in one of several local government meetings last week.
New oil spill response base in Friday Harbor will address present — and growing — threat
A new response base to be built on San Juan Island will amp up the Islands Oil Spill Association’s prevention capabilities — all the more vital because local small-spill threats are not likely to get response from elsewhere.
Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic
Like much else in the time of COVID-19, searches for black-and-white orcas, speckled grays and humpbacks were interrupted in early March. Dozens of whale watching boats, from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island, from Everett to Edmonds, bob in place dockside.
Water concerns spark funding request for groundwater studies for San Juans, Guemes
Concerns of island residents about water supply sustainability motivated requests by 40th District Sen. Liz Lovelett for state funds for groundwater studies. As of adjournment of the 2020 state legislative session on March 12, Lovelett’s office reported that funding for groundwater studies on Guemes Island and in San Juan County were approved and included in the capital budget.
San Juan Islands’ fresh-water supply sustainability is in question
Back in the ’70s, the Lopez Island water witch and other old-timers would rattle a newcomer’s cage by telling him the water feeding wells in the San Juan Islands came from a large undersea aquifer reaching to Mount Baker. The water witch and the old timers are gone, and the specter of climate crisis is here. No one jokes about fresh water in the islands coming from Mount Baker. Instead, talk is in earnest and concerns the question of sustaining the islands’ supply of fresh water.
Whatcom plans as climate crisis threatens shorelines, homes, livelihoods
The worst impacts of climate change in Whatcom County are yet to come, scientists say. Researchers say that while some changes may seem to be emerging slowly, swift action is needed to curb and prepare for them.Residents are already seeing impacts on the waterfront, air quality and fisheries they treasure.
Grassroots groups work to save habitat, keep streams cool for Nooksack salmon
As local streams get less water from lower snowpacks and grow warmer during hotter summers, some local grassroots organizations are working to reverse or soften the damage to habitat and the fish that rely on colder water.