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 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:

Guest speaker at our Nov. 14 Members Meeting: Dr. Sandra Matheson

Save the date! We are pleased to have Sandra coming to our next meeting to talk about her family’s local beef operation, Matheson Farms. We will have announcements in local media and hope to have a good turnout. Don’t miss it!
See location information here and contact us if you have any questions.sandra_event5 postcard
Sandra is a life-long farmer, educator, filmmaker, author, speaker, active grandmother and retired veterinarian. She is also an Accredited Consultant/Field Professional in Holistic Management and a certified consensus facilitator. She serves as the president of Roots of Resilience and Managing Change Northwest; has co-authored the book The Art and Science of Success; and is a co-founder and past president of the North Cascade Meat Producer’s Cooperative.

Did you know? – Tenmile on social media!

No, we’re not using Facebook; or Instagram; or Twitter (gosh, no). But from our friends we are getting help trying to reach Tenmile residents on, where there are 653 residents in three NextDoor neighborhood groups that overlap our watershed. Here is an example, a post last week that promotes an upcoming WCD event highlighting assistance for farm operations preparing for ‘mud season’. Spread the word!

Septic System reminder in the mail.

In July, Whatcom County is mailing a reminder post card to septic system owners in the Tenmile creek watershed, as part of a focused outreach program in some areas. The card reminds owners of the inspection requirement, the reasons for that attention, and the available inspection rebate program. There is a homeowner workshop July 19th (attendance is required for rebate eligibility.) Our Tenmile Clean Water Project is listed on the card as a sponsor, thanks to our involvement with other partners in this effort!

Septic Reminder Mailer FINAL 6.28.18 compressed

Meeting with County Public Works

We had a meeting today with County Public Works and WCD staff to talk about septic systems – or in tech-speak, On Site Sewage (OSS) systems. We shared ideas and data that we all had, and how to coordinate our strategy for summer sampling efforts, and outreach that will be increasing through the rest of this year. Summer is a key focus of our own group’s sampling, since stormwater runoff is minimal, which increases the possibility that fecal sources may be coming from septic systems.

WCD Work Session 6/7

We joined multiple Tenmile stakeholders and WCD staff for a 2-hour work session on 6/7 to explore options for how to focus our watershed outreach activities. This is the beginning of long-awaited activity after a long period of WCD preparation begun last fall with the National Water Quality Initiative and the county-wide social survey. Can’t wait for the next steps!

Outreach Contract with WCD

Today we signed off on the contract with the WCD to plan & conduct outreach activities in our watershed, in collaboration with our group. This is expected to fulfill some important goals from our Community Foundation grant last year and build water quality awareness among area landowners. Looking forward to this work!