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Birch Bay Watershed & Aquatic Resources Management District


March 2017
Volunteer Opportunities Abound!
  • Terrell Creek Community Work Party - Help restore salmon habitat by planting native trees and shrubs along Terrell Creek on Saturday, April 8. The Whatcom Explorer - Mobile Watershed will be on site, providing kids with a fun opportunity to learn about restoration, water quality and stormwater with a hands-on, interactive watershed model and sand table. Visit NSEA's website for more information about the event.
  • Storm Watchers Program - Does your neighborhood have drainage, flooding or erosion issues? Sign up to be a Storm Watcher! Take the first step toward solving these issues by monitoring and reporting conditions in your area after large rain events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Holly Faulstich at or 360.778.6290. No experience necessary.
  • Invasive Green Crab Training - Get your boots muddy and volunteer with the Crab Team! The European green crab is considered one of the world's worst invasive species. It can alter shoreline ecosystems and negatively impact native species. Birch Bay is a likely area for infestation and needs your help! The Crab Team Training Workshop will be held March 17 at Padilla Bay.
BBWARM Advisory Committee Retreat in March
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.

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. 

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? 

Of the Terrell Creek and Birch Bay sites that were sampled on February 22nd, only one exhibited high fecal coliform counts – the outfall across from Birch Bay Drive and Cedar Ave. This Cottonwood neighborhood drainage was an area of focus in past years due to extremely high bacteria levels, but efforts by local residents led to significant water quality improvements. However, due to the bacteria spike observed in February (585 FC/100 mL), Whatcom County Public Works staff will be working with the Health Department to follow up and determine if there are cross connections or old pipes that were not properly decommissioned in this area. 

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 snowy Terrell Creek by Monette Boswell
Stormwater Capital Improvement Project Update

Harborview Rd & Birch Bay Drive Storm Drainage Improvements

Staff have been working with Anchor QEA engineers to complete the conceptual plans for this project. Final versions of the three design alternatives, as well as estimates, are being completed. Coordination with the future Birch Bay Drive & Pedestrian Facility ("berm") project requires continual communication and contingency planning, especially if final construction schedules don’t mesh. BBWARM staff also met with property owners along Birch Bay Drive to discuss implications of the berm and Harborview projects. Click on the map below to learn more.
Wings Over Water Presentation

How does water quality ultimately impact the bird populations in our area? Find out at the Wings Over Water festival opening event at Semiahmoo Resort. BBWARM is co-sponsoring a presentation by Whatcom Conservation District's Aneka Sweeney on Friday, March 10 at 5pm. She will be detailing the history of water quality improvements in Drayton Harbor and Birch Bay, as well as the work left to be done.

Free Auto Leaks Inspection Workshop

Does your car drip? Ever wondered if a ‘spot’ on the ground came from your car? Want to learn how to properly maintain your car?
Join the experts for a FREE Auto Leaks workshop - a $125 value. Open to everyone in Puget Sound. At this workshop you’ll:
  • Get a free professional car health assessment from a certified automotive instructor.
  • Learn how to identify and prevent leaks.
  • Receive tips on repairing minor common leaks.
  • Learn preventive maintenance.
  • Leave the class with a FREE Vehicle Maintenance Check Kit and the confidence to talk to your mechanic.
Workshops will be held at Bellingham Technical College March 11, April 15, May 6, and June 10. 
Watch this video and hear what past participants have to say. Space is limited so register now at!

The 2017 Small Farm Expo, co-sponsored by BBWARM, will be held on March 11 at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event, visit the Whatcom Conservation District's website.
Native Plant Sale

Don't forget to attend the Whatcom Conservation District's annual plant sale on March 25! Planting native trees and shrubs can provide many positive benefits to your property and the natural environment such as improved water quality, enhanced fish and wildlife habitat, reduction of wind and soil erosion, cleaner air, reduction of energy costs, and beautification of your property! 

The WCD is looking for volunteers to help out with the sale - if you are interested, contact Aneka Sweeney at
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
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.

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