Swift Creek, originating on Sumas Mountain, has a long history of sediment loading and reduced hydraulic conveyance capacity with consequent flooding as a result of a natural landslide. Sediment from the slide is from a unique geologic deposit that contains naturally occurring asbestos. In addition to the asbestos content, sediment from the slide is also known to contain trace metals; trace metals of concern include cadmium, cobalt, manganese, and nickel.
Whatcom County Public Works Department, on behalf of the Flood Control Zone District (FCZD), has prepared the Swift Creek Sediment Management Action Plan (SCSMAP) to address sedimentation and flooding that result in damage to agricultural, residential, and public assets and have the potential to affect public health.
The following links provide background information related to the SCSMAP: