WATER QUALITY

Water Quality Monitoring

BBWARM participates in a comprehensive water quality monitoring program for the Birch Bay watershed managed by Whatcom County Public Works Natural Resources. Monitoring focuses on fecal coliform bacteria pollution. The overall goals of the water quality program are to protect public health and protect shellfish beds in Birch Bay. Monitoring data are compared to state health standards and used to identify sources priority drainages for water quality improvement.

          • Access current water quality monitoring data for the Birch Bay and Terrell Creek watershed.
          • Explore interactive water quality maps.
          • Learn more about the sources of fecal coliform pollution.
          • Learn more about how to keep our water ways clean.

Click here to learn about water quality related beach closures in Birch Bay.


Collecting a water quality sample from Terrell Creek.

Whatcom County Public Works staff collecting a water sample from Terrell Creek.


Great News! Shellfish Beds Now Reopen for Harvesting in Birch Bay

After 10 years of closure due to fecal coliform pollution, the Washington State Department of Health upgraded 129 acres of shellfish beds in Birch Bay from Prohibited to Approved for shellfish harvesting on January 16. Years of hard work and collaboration by community members, non-profit organizations, and local government working together to improve water quality in Terrell Creek, the largest tributary to Birch Bay, have resulted in improved water quality and the reopening. This is a community success worth celebrating! Thank you to everyone working to improve water quality in the Birch Bay watershed. A community celebration is being planned for later this year. For more information read the press release here. Additional news stories include: Harvest restrictions lifted on 129 acres of Birch Bay, Terrell Creek Cleanup Leads to Open Shellfish Beds and These Birch Bay shellfish beds have been closed for 10 years. Here’s why they’re reopening.

Report a Water Pollution Problem

If you witness a spill, chemicals being washed into a stormwater drain, or a contaminated stream, contact Whatcom County Public Works: 360-778-6210 (Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If it is after work hours, and NOT an emergency, please leave a voicemail. If this is an emergency, call 911 immediately . For more information on reporting water pollution, click here.