Who we are and what we do:

  • We are an independent, citizen-led group dedicated to improving the overall water quality in the Tenmile Creek watershed.
  • Our goal is to bring the waters of the Tenmile Creek watershed into compliance with bacteria water quality standards, and maintain those clean water conditions.
  • We aim to achieve this clean water goal by involving people in sampling water quality and in finding and fixing preventable pollution sources.
  • We are not a regulatory body; we solve issues through community involvement. We promote good property stewardship so that our own members and neighbors act to improve and protect water quality.
  • Using what we learn and accomplish through this effort, we hope to show how citizens in other lowland Whatcom County watersheds can also contribute.
    We believe sustained community stewardship is the most durable solution.


Why we care:

We want to improve the health of the Tenmile watershed, protect people’s health, and make sure we are not contributing to bacteria pollution that seasonally prevents shellfish harvest in portions of Portage Bay. In recent years, we have helped reduce fecal coliform  bacteria levels in this watershed. While more work is needed, we know we can do better.

Why Tenmile Creek:

The Tenmile Clean Water Project has been active since fall 2013, but people living here have a history of actively addressing water-related challenges. Our work builds on the effective Tenmile Creek Watershed Project that ran from 2001 to 2008 and used common-sense community approaches to improving water quality and habitat.

And this watershed also offers many characteristics that allow us to test what works in our county, with a diversity of both land uses (residential, commercial, agriculture) and landscapes (well and poorly drained, peaty, gravely, hilly, flat, wooded, open.)

TCWP watershed boundary map - Phay

Where is the Tenmile watershed?

A ‘watershed’ is defined as the geographic area that collects all of the waters arriving at a stream’s mouth, where it flows into another water body. In this case, Tenmile Creek has two other tributaries – Fourmile Creek and Deer Creek – which are included in the watershed.

Tenmile Creek is one of the largest lowland tributaries of the Nooksack River, with a watershed that extends from east of Ferndale where it flows into the Nooksack, far across the county to headwaters just west of the Nooksack, south of Everson. It is roughly bounded by Smith Road on the south, and Pole Road on the north.

Thanks to our Partners!

WCF stacked logo new Jan 2018.png

Our work is supported by a 2017 grant from the
Whatcom Community Foundation, which also enables continuing assistance of staff from our partners at the Whatcom Conservations District. Home

Bellewood Farms generously provides a home in the watershed for our monthly meetings.
bellewood photo