2016 Year in Review: Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Management District

By Kraig Olason

This past year the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management District (BBWARM) has been busy with several projects, including a collaborative capital improvement project completed on Birch Point with Whatcom County Public Works, completing the final Subwatershed Master Plan for Birch Bay, designing a new project for Cottonwood Drive, beginning a design process for a major drainage project for 2018 and continuing a water quality monitoring program on Birch Bay and Terrell Creek.

The third Subwatershed Master Plan was drafted to cover the Birch Point, Terrell Creek Urban Growth Area (UGA) and Point Whitehorn subwatersheds.

A public meeting in February attracted 29 attendees who submitted their input on the stormwater problems in these areas. The draft plan was reviewed by the public at the November BBWARM meeting.

The final plan will be available early in 2017. Drainage problems along Harborview Road were identified in the Birch Bay Central North and Central South Subwatershed Master Plans due to undersized stormwater infrastructure.

A public meeting was held in November to introduce the project to the community. Field survey work has been completed and a preferred concept design will be completed in early 2017.

Final project design should be completed by summer of 2017 with construction beginning in 2018.
A new water quality monitoring results webpage with links to online maps and water quality status reports was launched.

Maps, water quality status reports, and the most current fecal coliform bacteria data for Birch Bay and other focus areas throughout Whatcom County can be found at co.whatcom.wa.us/2170/Water-Quality-Monitoring-Results. Next year is shaping up to be a busy year with many project and activities planned. Be sure to check out the BBWARM website for more details and information regarding all of the BBWARM District projects at bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org.

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