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Natural Resources

Natural Resources


Salmon Recovery

Marine Resources

Pollution Identification & Correction

Noxious Weeds

Shellfish Protection Districts

Coordinated Water System Plan Update

Marine Resources

 seastarPublic Works-Natural Resources staff provides technical assistance and administrative support to various committees in Whatcom County that are associated with marine resources. These include the Marine Resources Committee and the Drayton Harbor, Portage Bay, and Birch Bay Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committees.


Natural Resources staff also provides technical assistance to other countcraby departments and to local and regional groups dealing with marine efforts and issues. Coordination of efforts between all of these various groups is a key role for the Natural Resources staff. Public education and outreach are vital tools Natural Resources uses to raise awareness about marine issues throughout the Whatcom County community.


Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee

fishing boatsThe Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) was established by the County Council in 1999 to protect and enhance the local marine environment and contribute to the protection of the marine environment of the Northwest Straits. The Whatcom MRC is one of seven MRCs established in the Northwest Straits region as part of the federal Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative.

Many of the projects initiated and supported by the MRC involve public outreach and education, nearshore restoration and scientific monitoring. Partnerships are a key component of the MRC’s success. Recent and current projects and programs of the MRC include:

  • Creosote log removal at Birch Bay and Cliffside Beach
  • Public Speaker Series
  • Fish Usage Study at Chuckanut Village Marsh
  • Invertebrate Monitoring at Boulevard Park

For more information on the activities, meetings, and members of the MRC, please visit the MRC website at or contact Austin Rose at


Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committees

shellfish closure

There are three Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committees in Whatcom County: Drayton Harbor, Portage Bay, and Birch Bay.  Advisory committee members are appointed by the Whatcom County Council to advise the council on proposed actions and operations relating to the restoration of water quality in these geographic areas.

For more information about the Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committees, contact Erika Douglas at