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Whatcom Water Week Events

Plan Your Event - September 14-22, 2024

Need Inspiration for your 2024 Event?
Scroll down for events in 2023.

Whatcom Water Alliance Water Saving Pledge

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Everyone in Whatcom County is invited to Save our Water, Save your Money with the Whatcom Water Alliance! Take your pledge to reduce your household water use. Changes in our everyday actions can significantly reduce our personal water consumption. Whatcom Water Alliance has put together and compiled the evidence-based behaviors or actions that will see your water bills drop and our shared water resources grow. Join us by sharing what you already do to conserve water, and take the next step by pledging future actions.

Bellingham Stormwater Discovery Tours

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Discover where all that rainwater goes on Bellingham's Stormwater Discovery Tours. Explore our urban and parkland areas while learning how we work hard to keep the water clean, filter out pollutants, and prevent flooding.

Lake Whatcom Self-Guided Hikes


Walk the Railroad Trail and learn the history of Lake Whatcom and the current challenges the lake faces. This nature walk is great for kids, families, or anyone who wants to learn more about Lake Whatcom. 

Run with the Chums


Join your community in celebrating healthy water, healthy habitat, and healthy people during the 11th annual Run with the Chums 5K Fun Run! This free event welcomes people of all ages and speeds. The 5K course has beautiful views of Whatcom County shoreline and beaches. Children 10 and under can enjoy the Smolt Sprint obstacle course.

Walk the Dock - Meet your Fishermen


What do all of the Commercial Fishing Boats in our Harbor actually do? Where do they fish? What species do they catch? How do they harvest this seafood? Meet at the Fishermen's Memorial Statue in Zuanich Point Park for a short but informative walking tour of our important commercial fishing harvest vessels. You'll learn directly from fishermen about each of these vessels, what species they catch, where and how they're harvested. Best Fishes to You! 

Event Organizer: Whatcom Working Waterfront Foundation

Bellingham Bay Paddle and Scavenger Hunt

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Join the Community Boating Center to celebrate Whatcom Water Week 2023! We will be hosting an intertidal scavenger hunt and paddle on Bellingham Bay to explore the beautiful coastline and learn about the awesome species that live right in our PNW backyard. Learn about why it is important to protect marine wildlife and act as stewards of the land every time we recreate both on land and in the water. Questions about our marine ecosystem here in the PNW are encouraged! All ages, abilities, and experience levels are welcome! We will provide you with a sit on top kayak and all of the necessary safety gear. We recommend wearing close toed shoes that you don't mind getting wet. We will also provide you with a scavenger hunt sheet, bilingual scavenger hunts are also available! Safety is our number one priority, we will cancel the paddle if the conditions are not safe.

Salish Sea Marine Habitat Collage

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Come one, come all! Join the Marine Life Center staff in creating marine animals and their habitat to fill our habitat collages! Each day will focus on a particular Salish Sea marine habitat (Estuary, rocky shore, kelp forest, open ocean). No artistic skills required! Plus, draw inspiration for your creations from our live marine tanks with local Salish Sea life! Visiting is always free!

Family Field Day at Birch Bay State Park


Celebrate Whatcom Waterweek! Explore Tide Pools with Garden of the Salish Sea Curriculum (GSSC), Friends of Birch Bay State Park (FOBBSP) and Blaine -Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) for Family Field Days. Explore Birch Bay State Park with Beach Naturalists.  

Little Storytime

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For children ages birth – 3 with an adult partner. Join us for simple stories, songs, fingerplays, and movement.

Little Storytime

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For children ages birth – 3 with an adult partner. Join us for simple stories, songs, fingerplays, and movement.

Preschool Storytime


For children ages 3 – 5 with an adult partner. Join us for fun and engaging stories, songs, and finger plays.

Bellingham Water Treatment Plant Tour

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Celebrate Whatcom Water Week! Tour the City of Bellingham's drinking water treatment plant on Wednesday, September 13 from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., to learn about where the City's drinking water comes from, how the water is filtered and sanitized for drinking, and challenges the drinking water treatment plant operators face in treating drinking water due to human impacts in the Lake Whatcom Watershed. Tour will include Q & A with plant operators and laboratory staff..

Waterfront Tour - Cleaning Up Legacy Contamination Tour


Everyone is welcome to join RE Sources on this walking tour of the I&J Waterway. Hear from Department of Ecology, Port, and other staff about how legacy contamination of our waterfront is being cleaned up and learn more about the current and future uses of the I&J Waterway that we all share. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about how you can have your voice heard in this process. 

Bellingham Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour


Celebrate Whatcom Water Week! Tour the City of Bellingham's wastewater treatment plant on Wednesday, September 13 from 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. to learn how the City filters and sanitizes wastewater for protection of human and environmental health. Tour will include Q & A with plant operators and laboratory staff.

Preparing for the Adjudication

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Water right consultants from Aspect Consulting, Associated Earth Sciences, and RH2 Engineering will discuss steps you can take to prepare for the upcoming WRIA 1 adjudication. The presentation will provide 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 will identify potential complications that can be addressed even before the adjudication is filed. After the presentation is complete, we will be available to answer any questions that you might have.

Whether you plan to do all the work yourself, or seek the assistance of a consultant or attorney, the information presented will be helpful.

Blue Drinks
Age Restricted (21 years and over)


Blue Drinks is a forum for all who are concerned about the developing maritime and marine trades sector in our region, county and city.  Each gathering will feature a short presentation along with a chance for attending companies and businesses to introduce themselves and talk about how they're interacting with the waterfront.  Network with your peers, learn about other marine industry businesses, and chat with other waterfront enthusiasts! Must be 21 years old to participate.


Lynden Water Treatment Plant Tour


Tour the City of Lynden's Water Treatment Plant, 524 Riverview Road. Tour is approximately 1 hour long. Park at the North entrance, just below 6th and Judson's alley.

Little Storytime

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For children ages birth – 3 with an adult partner. Join us for simple stories, songs, finger plays, and movement.

Managed Aquifer Recharge Site Tour


Join the City of Lynden and project partners Associated Earth Sciences, Inc., Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering, and the Department of Ecology on a tour of the potential City of Lynden Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) site along the Middle Fork of the Nooksack River. The project goal is to increase seasonal Nooksack River flows to improve aquatic habitat for salmon and other species, offset decreases in snowpack, create mitigation opportunities for downstream surface water rights, and address public health concerns for users of certain downstream water wells.

The tour will include walking portions of the undeveloped site while discussing the recent exploration efforts, the geology and hydrogeology of the area, and how a MAR facility aims to provide multiple streamflow restoration benefits for approximately 45 miles of the Nooksack River. The tour will require walking of up to approximately 1 mile on gravel roads.


Time for Tales


For children ages 5 – 9 with families welcome. Enjoy fun stories, songs and a craft!

Lots of fun!

Padden Creek Fish Passage Projects Tour

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Join the City of Bellingham on Thursday, September 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for a free walking tour of past, present, and future fish passage projects in Padden Creek! During this tour, we will highlight successful fish passage projects and discuss plans for future projects that will make it easier for salmon to access the upper sections of the stream. 


Trivia Night at Ponderosa Beer + Books

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Join the Whatcom Working Waterfront Coalition and Bellingham SeaFeast for a fun night of music and trivia at Ponderosa Beer + Books, 1225 Roeder Avenue. Test your knowledge on Bellingham’s maritime history, watery critters, shorelines, and more! Enjoy sea shanties by the Good Time Girls! 


NSEA Salmon Sighting

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We invite you to marvel at pink salmon as they make their biannual migration upriver. Staff will be available with games, prizes, and answers to all of your questions!.


Wild Things


Hands-on nature exploration for families with children under six, but older kids and siblings are always welcome too! On this outing, search for spiders, spy on squirrels, and listen for the barred owls who nest there!


Wonder Walks


A slow-paced, physically accessible nature walk for adults (18+). We'll stay on barrier free trails with little to no incline, perfect for seniors, people with physical or developmental disabilities, and anyone who wants to take their time and examine the tiny, wondrous aspects of the natural world! This month we're uncovering seasonal changes as we begin to transition to autumn. What's happening under our feet and at the surface, and why? Location is Cornwall Park Rose Garden Entrance (3000 Cornwall Avenue). By donation (pay what you can).


Community Work Party at Whatcom Creek


Help restore salmon habitat as we remove invasive plant species and perform litter pick up along this well-loved trail behind Bellingham City Hall, 210 Lottie Street.  All ages and abilities welcome. Participants under age 14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Tools, gloves, and instructions are provided. Please dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.


Wild Things


Hands-on nature exploration for families with children under six, but older kids and siblings are always welcome too! On this outing, search for spiders, spy on squirrels, and listen for the barred owls who nest there!



NSEA Salmon Spotters Training Workshop


NSEA's Salmon Spotters is a brand new citizen science project! This short training covers the basics of the salmon lifecycle, how to ID different salmon species, and best practices for completing observations. As a Salmon Spotter volunteer, you visit a creek site of your choice that currently (or historically) supports salmon for 15 minutes twice a week throughout the fall and submit your data through an online form. That’s it! It’s that easy to support salmon monitoring in Whatcom County.



WSU Extension's Gardening Green Course in Birch Bay

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Would you like to grow naturally beautiful landscape that keeps our Whatcom waters clean? Would you like to know how to nourish healthy soils, how to save water, and reduce your maintenance chores? WSU Whatcom County Extension’s Gardening Green courses will teach you the essential principles for successful landscape gardening that is easier on the environment – using more know-how and less fertilizer and pesticides. Participants will also receive a coupon to Kent’s Garden & Nursery!


International Coastal Cleanup at Gulf Rd


Join Surfrider, RE Sources, and Ocean Conservancy for another International Coastal Cleanup. Help us gather import data on beach litter so we can better influence meaningful policy. We'll provide the beach cleanup equipment and light refreshments, you just bring yourself and family/friends and dress for the weather and being on a rocky beach in the Pacific Northwest. 



Out and About


An affinity program by and for queer folks to explore nature and build community outdoors. Our theme in September is “Queer Critters. Join queer naturalists to discuss the many animals worldwide who exhibit non-heteronormative behaviors, with a special focus on avian species. Learn how western science institutions have brushed documented queer behaviors by wildlife under the rug for centuries, get curious about influential queer ecologists, and go on a stroll to search for neat flora and fauna while getting silly and having fun! For community safety, registration is required to receive directions to our meeting location.


"We Scoop" Photo Contest and Prize Drawing

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During the month of September, dog owners are invited to take or renew their pledge to “scoop every poop and put it in the trash!” Dog poop left on the ground is raw sewage and pollutes our waterways. Pledgers are automatically entered into the prize drawing for a scooping prize pack! 

Do you think your dog is the cutest? They just might be! Enter the best photos of your pup into the “We Scoop” Photo Contest. It’s easy to enter: take the We Scoop pledge and submit your best dog photo to the online form. Winning pups will be featured in our future ads, and winning owners will receive a scooping prize pack!

The prize pack for the prize drawing and photo contest includes:

  • A pack-out bag

  • A yard scooper

  • A collar light

  • 20 rolls of bags


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