Blog Posts

Portage Bay harvest reopening! (for Spring)

This goal has been central to the mission of our work, and a very significant accomplishment for all those playing a part, large & small! Plenty of work remains, to ensure the Spring opening remains, and to remove the Fall closure next. Here is an excerpt from Whatcom County Public Works press release.

Portage Bay reopeningLummi shellfish

Reminder: WCD Election Day March 26th

WCD Election LogoIf you received a ballot by mail, be sure to post it in time to arrive by election day, Tuesday, March 26th.
Otherwise, on election day vote in person at the WCD offices, 6975 Hannegan Road near East Pole Road. Polls will be open between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm; stop by & visit with the friendly staff – they will be happy to see you!

There is one Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) Board position open for election in March. Summary information & links below are all from the complete WCD election website.

Mar. 11 Laurel WID meeting: a few tidbits

This arrived too late for our March 13th members meeting; so for those interested, here are some topics of common interest from the Laurel WID* meeting:

  • We invited WID members to our March 13 meeting for the FFA presentation, and the April 10 meeting for the NRCS-NWQI presentation.
  • Constructive group discussion about: disappointing autumn water quality results; challenges in assessing specific ‘problem’ observations; and how to best engage landowners on such issues.
  • Dept of Ecology staff: 113 Tenmile-area landowners will be receiving reminder post cards to encourage attention to good stewardship practices.
  • Update: collaboration continues on a landowner ditch-clearing project, near Tenmile Creek & Chasteen road.
  • Update: County staff will plan a meeting for us all to discuss considerations in transitioning residences on septic systems to a municipal sewage system.
  • Reminder: NSEA Earth Day planting event, part of another collaboration project: County road repair & Ten Mile Creek channel relocation at East Hemmi road.

* The Laurel Watershed Improvement District (WID) is one of six taxing entities in the lower Nooksack watershed, established to “participate in cooperative watershed management actions… for purposes of water supply, water quality, and water resource and habitat protection and management.” WID boundaries are set to include participating landowners. The Laurel WID covers a large part of the Ten Mile Creek watershed, but not all. We consider the WID to be an important partner; ‘we achieve more working together‘.
https://www.agwaterboard.com/about_us

WCD election update: ballots are out!

There is one Whatcom Conservation District Board position open for election.
Ballots have been mailed
for those who requested one, so you should have it now – or soon. To be counted, all mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before election day, March 26. NOTE: not all mail is postmarked the day it is deposited with the post office due to changes to its mail-handling process. More information follows below.

WCD Election LogoIf you don’t have a mail-in ballot, you can still vote on election day, March 26th! 
Summary information & links below are all from the complete WCD election website.

  • Election-day voting: at WCD offices, 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden. Polls will be open 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Visit the office, meet the staff and cast your vote in-person!
  • Each Conservation District is governed by a board of five supervisors; see this page to meet current board members.
  • The two candidates in this election are: Theresa Sygitowicz and Valeri Wade (click on names for biographies.)
  • Further details about the rules & timeline – including voting in person – are on the election website.
  • If you have any questions regarding elections – including missing mail-in ballots – contact Dawn Bekenyi at wcd@whatcomcd.org or 360-526-2381 x 101.

Winter’s delight: Ice sculpture…

Our intrepid water quality sampling wizard was out on his usual rounds last week – in very unusual conditions. With temperatures in the teens and wind chill near zero, early morning on the creek was a bit intimidating. So what does he do? He pauses long enough to appreciate a bit of art offered up by the conditions – and cold fingers snapped some photos so we can join in admiration.

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So, while you are enjoying these, how about a little quiet appreciation for the many volunteer efforts that keep contributing in so many ways to the health of our waterways! It’s what we do….

p.s. If you would like to join in the fun, our next water sampling is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 26th. Just get in touch here and we’ll get you all set up!

Bellewood Acres – thank the owners!

Bellewood clip
The meeting facility at Bellewood Acres farm has been home for Tenmile group membership meetings ever since farm owner Dorie Belisle helped start this effort more than a decade ago. Now the new owners, the Abel family, are continuing that hospitality – and we sure do appreciate it!

CountryCafeHeaderSeveral of our members recently enjoyed lunch at the farm’s Bellewood Country Cafe, and fully enjoyed meeting three generations now in residence – Julie & Eric, with their son Blake, his wife Jenelle and their two daughters. Next chance you get, why not stop in for lunch, delicious treats from the bakery, or just your apple-a-day – and welcome the Abels to the neighborhood. They are excited to be joining this community, and we are happy they are continuing Bellewood support for the Tenmile Clean Water Project.

March 13 reminder: Lynden HS FFA Ag Issues Team

A few challenging snow days were enough to disrupt schools and postpone this event from our February meeting, but not enough to discourage this hardy team of students! They are ready to continue their schedule, including our event on Tuesday, March 13th.

Lynden High School has an active FFA chapter that participates in the annual Issues competition at the FFA state convention. We have hosted their team before as they practice in preparation for the late spring contest.

IMG_2888

They will return this year to present at our March 13 membership meeting at Bellewood Acres. The topic this year is “Will Traditional Farming Survive?” – which should be of particular interest in our area. You should join us to hear how they frame the question and pose their answers – visitors are welcome. These students always appreciate questions and critique afterwards so come prepared for a stimulating conversation!
Our meeting begins at 6:30pm, with the FFA program beginning about 7pm.

 

Act now! WCD ballot request deadline: Feb 8th

WCD Election LogoThere is one Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) Board position open for election in March. These elections follow many typical rules for WA State elections but are administered by WCD staff. So you must request a ballot in order to vote by mail. The request process is quick & easy from this online website

Summary information & links below are all from the complete WCD election website.

  • All information provided in your request must match your Whatcom County Voter Registration; view your Voter Registration here at the County Auditor’s Office.
  • Each Conservation District is governed by a board of five supervisors; see this page to meet current board members.
  • The two candidates in this election are: Theresa Sygitowicz and Valeri Wade (click on names for biographies.)
  • Further details about the rules & timeline – for ballot validations, receiving ballots & then returning them, or voting in person, etc – are on the election website.
  • If you have any questions regarding elections or serving on the Board, contact Dawn Bekenyi at wcd@whatcomcd.org or 360-526-2381 x 101.

New: County PIC Program e-news

PIC stands for ‘Pollution, Identification and Correction‘, a methodology used elsewhere that also defines the program in Whatcom County Public Works that is focused on fecal bacteria contamination in our waterways, specifically waters that drain to shellfish harvest areas in Drayton Harbor and Portage Bay. This work includes community outreach & education, technical & financial assistance for landowners, and coordination with County departments & other agencies.

This is also the program that coordinates water quality testing across the county, including our regular monthly ‘ambient‘ sampling in the Tenmile watershed, which drains to Portage Bay via the Nooksack River.


And now they have an e-newsletter. This month’s issue includes latest water quality data for the shellfish beds, a report from the Drayton Shellebration in December, upcoming events and more. Download a copy of the January newsletter here.

Sign up for future issues by sending an email to:
PICProgram@co.whatcom.wa.us