Birch Bay Watershed
The Whatcom Conservation District was recently awarded an EPA grant for a project to work in Birch Bay, Whatcom County, Washington. Birch Bay had been the subject of an innovative pilot study where local, state, and federal agencies collaborated to create a comprehensive set of watershed management recommendations using integrated watershed characterization tools and techniques. This project will implement recommendations (“outputs”) specific to select rural and urban subbasins to improve hydrological, denitrification and pathogen removal processes (“outcomes”) that will improve water quality for recreational swimming and shellfish harvest (“environmental benefits”).
Building upon the successful “Tenmile Creek Model”, work products of the Pilot Study will be shared with watershed residents to impart a greater appreciation for the potential impacts of their individual actions that either improve or degrade their marine and freshwater ecosystems. Residents will be inspired to adopt good stewardship practices, install LID and agricultural BMPs and participate in riparian, wetland and water quality restoration projects. A high resolution subwatershed plan will quantify the ability to mitigate development impacts out of subbasin.