Aroundthe Bay

Published on Thu, Feb 8, 2007
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Around the Bay

Beach Watcher program training

The Washington State University Whatcom Extension Watershed Master and Beach Watcher program will lead a series of free explorations of Whatcom County beaches, streams, forests, and agricultural lands.

Participants are invited to learn about local marine biology, coastal geology, wildlife, urban growth, and other issues from an objective, scientific point of view.

Although there is no cost, participants will receive 100 hours of training and be expected return 100 hours of volunteer service working on projects of their choice. The training runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, April 3 through May 25 in Bellingham. Space is limited.

For more information and an application please call Cheryl Lovato Niles at 676-6736, email

The university’s extension website is

Night-time beach explorations

Here’s an interesting way to explore Whatcom County beaches – at night.

A cooperative venture between Whatcom County’s RE Sources and People for Puget Sound will lead a group of night owls on a tour of Wildcat Cove beginning at 8 p.m., Friday, February 16. The walk will be guided by beach naturalists, biologists and other creature experts who have permission to access this area of Larrabee State Park after dark.

RE Sources’ beach naturalist Doug Stark said that many sea creatures, including sunflower stars, kelp crabs and nudibranchs, often reveal themselves during the cool darkness and receding tide.

“The low tides of the longer winter nights offer a wonderful opportunity to witness many creatures that would otherwise “run” and hide from predators or the drying sun of summer,” he said.

Warm beverages and a campfire will be provided after the hike.

Participants should come prepared with flashlight, rubber boots, warm clothing and rain gear. Although the trail walk to the beach is short, the rocky beach can be wet and slippery so the event is recommended for sure-footed adults and older children accompanied by adults.

Advanced registration is required and a donation will be requested to help support the volunteer program. To register call RE Sources at 733-8307 or email

Whatcom County one of nation’s green leaders

Whatcom County is leading in the realm of green building by registering for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification of the Whatcom County courthouse under the U.S. Green Building Council’s new Existing Buildings (EB) designation.

The LEED program was started in an attempt to establish a national standard for sustainable practices and encourage and accelerate innovation for green building practices through an incentives-based system.

In order to achieve the designation, the courthouse will step up its recycling program, add more environmentally friendly products, and commit to integrated pest management techniques in and around the building itself.

When the courthouse officially attains the LEED-EB certification, it will likely be the third courthouse in the nation to do so, said Whatcom County executive Pete Kremen.