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Speaker Series

One of WWIN's goals is to provide our community with timely and technically-sound information about marine and fresh water ecosystems, watersheds, and natural resource issues in order to help protect the water resources that benefit agriculture, business, fisheries, industry, tourism, cities, urban and rural residents, and the natural environment that Whatcom County citizens prize.   To accomplish this, WWIN hosts numerous Speaker Series events throughout the year as well as occasional symposiums.  Topics are chosen based on input from our membership,  the availability of appropriate presenters, and input from the Speaker Series planning team.  Speaker events and symposiums are open to anyone.  Speaker Series events are typically an hour or less, and are free.  Symposiums vary in length depending upon the topic, and are usually supported entirely or in part by sponsorships.

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Climate Adaptation – Salmon Habitat Restoration

Wednesday June 12, 6:00 - 7:00 pm via Zoom

Learn how the City of Bellingham, Lummi Nation, and the Nooksack Tribe are adapting local salmon restoration efforts in response to climate change.  Presented by Analiese Burns, Habitat and Restoration Manager, City of Bellingham Public Works Natural Resources and Kelley Turner, Watershed Restoration Program Manager, Lummi Nation

The Present and Future of Seaweed Mariculture in Whatcom County

Monday June 3, 5:30 - 6:30 pm via Zoom

​Riley Stark with the Salish Sea Center for Sustainability, Leah Paisano with Legoe Bay Shellfish, and Jackie Dexter with Holdfast Mariculture shared an overview of the present status and future potential of seaweed mariculture in Whatcom County.

Climate Adaptation - Flood Risk & Shoreline Impacts

Monday April 29, 5:30 - 6:30 pm via Zoom

  • How are the City of Bellingham, the Port of Bellingham, and Whatcom County planning for increasing flood risks and future impacts to our shorelines?

  • How are they working together?

  • How will it affect you?


Steve Sundin, Senior Planner with the City of Bellingham, Kurt Baumgarten, Environmental Planner with the Port of Bellingham, and Chris Elder, Senior Watershed Planner with Whatcom County Public Works will discuss these topics as well as how you can stay informed and involved. 

Climate Adaptation - Water Supply

Wednesday April 17, 6-7 pm via Zoom

  • How are the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Public Utility District #1 considering current and future impacts to water supply?

  • How are they working together?

  • How will it affect you?


Renee LaCroix, Assistant Director of Public Works Natural Resources, City of Bellingham; Chris Heimgartner, General Manager, Public Utility District #1; Gary Stoyka, Natural Resources Program Manager, Whatcom County Public Works; and Chris Elder, Senior Watershed Planner, Whatcom County Public Works will discuss these topics as well as how you can stay informed and involved. 


Collaborative monitoring and removal of invasive European green crabs in Drayton Harbor & Samish Bay

Wednesday November 8th, 5:30pm - 6:30pm via Zoom

Invasive European green crabs (EGC), Carcinus maenas, are considered one of the world’s most damaging invasive species. An increasingly abundant population could threaten native organisms, nearshore habitats, and culturally and economically important species in the Salish Sea, as has been seen in other parts of the world where they have established invasive populations. Northwest Straits Commission has worked with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, University of Washington Sea Grant, local shellfish growers, Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee, and many other local partners in managing EGC in Drayton Harbor and Samish Bay, two areas of concern along Washington inland marine shorelines. In this 1-hour event, Leah Robison and Allie Simpson will share background about EGC, the timeline of their introduction into North Sound counties, and results from their recent collaborative trapping efforts.

Presented by
Allie Simpson, Ecosystem Project Coordinator, Northwest Straits Commission, and
Leah Robison, Ecosystem Projects Specialist, Northwest Straits Commission,

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Green Crab Reporting Page:

Learn more about statewide efforts:

Learn about Washington Sea Grant's Crab Team:

Learn more and get involved in Molt Search!

Learn more about the Northwest Straits Commissions efforts:

Preparing for Adjudication - Whatcom Water Week Event

Wednesday, September 13, 4:30pm-6:30pm

Water right consultants from Aspect Consulting, Associated Earth Sciences, and RH2 Engineering with Department of Ecology discussed steps you can take to prepare for the upcoming WRIA 1 adjudication. The presentation provided attendees with an overview of water right basics, a checklist of documents and evidence that can be gathered to better document your water rights and water use, and identified potential complications that can be addressed even before the adjudication is filed. Whatcom Water Week Event Organizers: Aspect Consulting, Associated Earth Sciences, RH2 Engineering, Whatcom Ag Water Board.

Regional (WRIA1) Water Supply Plan Phase 2

Wednesday, March 22, 6:00pm-6:45pm  via Zoom

The WRIA 1 Planning Unit is hosted a presentation on the Regional (WRIA1) Water Supply Plan Phase 2 planning work.  The Phase 2 report was prepared by RH2 Engineering, Inc. for 11 subbasins within Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 1.  The intended use is for water supply planning purposes, and includes water use estimates for existing (2020) and future (2070) conditions.  Guest Presenter: Andy Dunn, RH2 Engineering, Inc. 

Integrated Floodplain Planning in Whatcom County

Tuesday, February 28, 5:30-7:30 pm • via Zoom

Learn about Whatcom County’s Floodplain Integrated Planning process and how this will guide future work to reduce flood risk, recover salmon populations, and to improve the resiliency of floodplain agriculture and floodplain communities in Whatcom County. 

Experts working with Whatcom County on this integrated approach explained:

  • The Floodplain Integrated Planning process

  • The dynamic nature of the Nooksack River and management challenges,

  • Some of the challenges in developing a computer model to replicate the November 2021 flood on the Nooksack River and the next steps for how this tool will be used in the future.

  • The current quality of salmon habitat in the lower Nooksack River.

This free event featured the following talks:


An Overview of the Floodplain Integrated Planning Process presented by Paula Harris, Whatcom County River and Flood Manager.

An Introduction to the Nooksack River:  Fluvial Setting, Human Influences, and Management Challenges presented by Karin Boyd, Principle Geomorphologist, Applied Geomorphology, Inc. 

Creating a Computer Model of the November 2021 Nooksack River Floods presented by Todd Bennett, Principle, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants.

Lower Nooksack Salmon Habitat Assessment: Findings and Applications presented by Jason Hall, Senior Scientist, Cramer Fish Sciences.

Salmon Habitat Restoration: Voluntary Programs with Benefits for Landowners and the Environment

Feb 15th 12:00-1:00pm • via Zoom

Aneka Sweeney, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Whatcom Conservation District. Habitat and restoration programs provide a simple and accessible way for landowners to steward their land and restore natural habitats for salmon, wildlife biodiversity, and water quality. Join us to learn about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Salmon Recovery Restoration Program (SRRP), Annual Native Plant Sale, the Neighborhood Native Landscaping Program, wildfire and forestry resources, fish passage barrier removal and other great opportunities! Scroll down for the recorded presentation.

To learn more about the programs and resources mentioned in this presentation, check out the following websites:

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Salmon Recovery Riparian (SRRP) Program

NRCS Riparian Buffer Program

Stream Crossing and Fish Barrier Improvements

The Native Plant Sale

Wildfire Preparedness (Also look for our Speaker Series event on this topic from June 2022!)

To request a site visit:

To sign up for the Whatcom Conservation District's Newsletter

To request a free Whatcom Conservation District Calendar and  receive a Plant Sale Sheet


To learn more about: 

Whatcom Explorer educational model for youth education

The Annual Run With The Chums Event


Flood Management on Whatcom County Farmland

November 16, 12:00-12:30pm  via Zoom

Gavin Willis, with Whatcom Family Farmers, will share updates on work being done on local farmland to address flooding, improve riparian habitat, and promote healthy waterways for salmon. The presentation will incorporate perspectives from a range of projects and local entities, including the Ag Water Board and the Watershed Improvement Districts.

Salmonid research, monitoring, and restoration efforts in the South Fork Nooksack River

October 6, 5:00-6:00pm • via Zoom

Devin Flawd, Stock Assessment Manager, Stock Assessment Manager for the Lummi Nation Natural Resources Department describes the most current population assessments for Chinook salmon and other key salmonids in the S. Fork of the Nooksack River as well as the impact of restoration projects on salmon returns. 

Wildfire Season is Coming- Is Your Home Firewise? & Ten Tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping

June 30, 6:30-8:00pm • via Zoom

Making your home firewise and tips for drought tolerant landscaping presented by Jenny Coe, Community Wildfire Resilience Coordinator, Whatcom & Skagit Conservation Districts and Cheryl Lovato Niles, Water Resources Educator, WSU Whatcom County Extension.


Coastal Storm Modeling and Habitat Vulnerability

September 2 • via Zoom • VideoAudio

Learn about the Coastal Storm Modeling work that is being done for Whatcom County and new efforts to assess coastal habitat vulnerabilities to sea level rise from Dr. Eric Grossman, Research Geologist with the US Geological Survey, and Dr. Ian Miller, Coastal Hazards Specialist with Washington SeaGrant.

Car Tires Killing Coho - New Research

June 30 • via Zoom • Video  • Q&A Sheet (pdf)

Dr. Jen McIntyre’s research specialty is the ecotoxicology of urban stormwater runoff and green infrastructure biological effectiveness for preventing toxicity to aquatic animals. Dr. McIntyre presented the research conducted by her UW and WSU research team that has identified a chemical in tires that kills coho salmon in urban waterways before they can spawn via a prerecorded talk and was available for questions.

Tribal Fishing Culture - We’ve gone from Honoring Salmon to Protecting Salmon and from Sustaining a Way of Life to Preserving a Way of Life

June 28 • via Zoom • Video  • Audio

Frank Lawrence III is a lifetime Lummi Fisherman and has worked with the Lummi Natural Resource Department for 17 years. George Swanaset Jr. “Yel7qaynem” is a member of the Nooksack Indian Tribe and is the Natural and Cultural Resource Director for the Tribe.

Seabed Mining: "The Dawn of an Industry" and the Need for a Precautionary Approach

January 7 • via Zoom •  Video • Audio • Presentation Slides

Presented by Lee First, Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, and Liz Schotman, Washington Regional Manager, Surfrider Foundation.


Patterns in Sea Star Recovery & COVID-19 Effects on the Local Fishing Industry

May 7 • via Zoom • Video

Researcher Melissa Miner with UC Santa Cruz presented new information sea star recovery from sea star wasting disease, and Pete Granger with the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County presented on the impact of COVID-19 on Whatcom County's fishing industry. 

Tsunami Hazards in Whatcom County

June 4 • via Zoom • Video

Dr. Carrie Garrison-Laney, Tsunami Hazards Specialist and PMEL Liaison with Washington Sea Grant presented the latest tsunami models and historic tsunami deposits in the North Sound area. 

Defending Drayton Harbor:  Managing the Recent Invasion of European Green Crabs Collaboratively

August 12 • via Zoom 

Presented by Emily Grayson with Washington Sea Grant, Alexandra Simpson with the Northwest Straits Commission, and Chelsey Buffington, April Fleming, and Lindsey Parter, all with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

Watershed Friendly & Wildfire Safe Properties

September 16 • via Zoom • Video

Is it possible to manage for wildfire risk and drought and still have a habitat friendly property?  Yes!
In this free online event, Jenny Coe, Community Wildfire Resilience Coordinator with Whatcom and Skagit Conservation Districts discusses: Wildfire risk, Fire resistant structures, Fire resistant landscaping that attracts wildlife and protects water quality, and
Wildfire risk reduction resources available for homeowners and communities.

Nooksack Basin Co-Managers' Salmon Hatchery 10-Year Production Plan

September 2 • via Zoom • Video • Audio

Tom Chance, Salmon Enhancement Program Manager with Lummi Nation, presents the Nooksack basin co-managers hatchery 10-year production plan.

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