Click here to view this email in your browser.

Birch Bay Watershed & Aquatic Resources Management District


February 2017
2016 Year in Review for BBWARM

By Kraig Olason

This past year, the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District has been busy with several projects, including a collaborative capital improvement project completed on Birch Point with Whatcom County Public Works, completing the final Subwatershed Master Plan for Birch Bay, designing a new project for Cottonwood Drive, beginning a design process for a major drainage project for 2018 and continuing a water quality monitoring program on Birch Bay and Terrell Creek.

The third Subwatershed Master Plan was drafted to cover the Birch Point, Terrell Creek Urban Growth Area (UGA) and Point Whitehorn subwatersheds. A public meeting in February attracted 29 attendees who submitted their input on the stormwater problems in these areas. The draft plan was reviewed by the public at the November BBWARM meeting.The final plan is now available on the BBWARM website

Drainage problems along Harborview Road were identified in the Birch Bay Central North and Central South Subwatershed Master Plans due to undersized stormwater infrastructure. A public meeting was held in November to introduce the project to the community. Field survey work has been completed and a preferred concept design will be completed in early 2017. Final project design should be completed by summer of 2017 with construction beginning in 2018.

A new water quality monitoring results webpage with links to online maps, water quality status reports and the most current fecal coliform bacteria data for Birch Bay and other focus areas throughout Whatcom County was launched.

This year is shaping up to be a busy one with many project and activities planned. Be sure to check out the BBWARM website for more details and information regarding all of the BBWARM District projects at

Photo of Birch Bay in the snow by Monette Boswell

No BBWARM Meeting in February
The next regular business meeting of the BBWARM Advisory Committee will be Wednesday, June 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Camp Horizon Conference Building in Bay Horizon Park. 

The Advisory Committee's annual retreat is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cannery Lodge in Semiahmoo.

You can view the 2017 meeting schedule and meeting documents on the Advisory Committee page on the BBWARM website. 
How is the Water Quality in Birch Bay? 

Regular water quality monitoring of Terrell Creek and coastal drainages continues. The fecal coliform counts remained low in December and January, though many of the lower Birch Bay sites could not be sampled due to ice cover and hazardous road conditions. Two sites near the mouth of Terrell Creek exceeded the health standard in January after having been low for several months. Click here to view the latest water quality results for Birch Bay/Terrell Creek or visit the Whatcom County Public Works' Water Quality Monitoring Results page for links to online maps and status reports for focus areas throughout Whatcom County.
Photo of WCPW staff taking a water sample in the snow by Laurel Baldwin
Stormwater Capital Improvement Project Update
Cottonwood Drive Stormwater Improvements

All permits have been submitted and 90% design drawings are circulating internally for final comments. Draft bid documents are being developed and final easements sent. While the construction of the project is slated for late August of 2017, staff are hoping to initiate the construction/bid process early to encourage more bidders.

Birch Point Collaborative Drainage System Repair

After some final landscaping/planting and pressure testing, this project will be complete! BBWARM staff inspected it on a sunny February day during significant snow melt runoff and it was working great (photo left).
New Program Coming Soon!

BBWARM will be partnering with Whatcom Conservation District this year to offer a Storm Watchers Program. This program will utilize a network of volunteers living in the Birch Bay and Terrell Creek watersheds to monitor the condition of public and private stormwater systems before and after large precipitation events. Staff will recruit and train local landowner to inspect and report back on drainage systems, as well as monitor creek flows, storm outfalls, catch basins, the Terrell Creek outlet and general neighborhood conditions. Monitoring will include visual identification of flooded roadways, changes in color or indications of pollutants in freshwater systems, and other stormwater related issues. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Holly Faulstich at or 360.778.6290. No experience necessary.
Small Farm Expo
The 2017 Small Farm Expo, cosponsored by BBWARM, will be held on March 11 at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. This open house event will include indoor and outdoor exhibits demonstrating the latest in agricultural technology, products and services, as well as seminars and demonstrations. Designed to be an informal meet-and-greet and networking event, visitors will find opportunities to engage with vendors, experts, veterinarians, and other producers, as well as discover new resources to help improve and expand healthy agricultural and livestock production. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event, visit the Whatcom Conservation District's website.
The shellfish harvesting areas at the mouth of Terrell Creek remain closed due to pollution.
See the Washington State Department of Health’s Shellfish Safety Information map for the most up-to-date information. Check before you dig!
Birch Bay in the News Upcoming Events
In Other News...

Holly returned from maternity leave on February 1.
Nola June was born on October 20 and is a healthy, happy baby girl. Holly will be in the office three days a week for the next few months and will be busy catching up and preparing for the annual March retreat.
What is BBWARM?
The Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District is the stormwater management district for the Birch Bay watershed.  BBWARM was established by the Whatcom County Council to address citizen concerns about water quality, flooding, and the loss of aquatic habitat.
Visit our website to learn about BBWARM programs, history, and funding.  Sign up to receive email notifications of meetings and special events. 
Copyright © 2017 Whatcom County Public Works, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp