"}
Outdoors

Whatcom Water Weeks

A resourceful guide to conservation

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In late July, storms drenched Whatcom County and broke two rainfall records previously set in 1949 and 1987.

While the unexpected downpour caused some residents to grumble about the interruption to what had been a mostly idyllic summer, others—like me—gave thanks to the rain gods.

In fact, after just two days of heavy precipitation, the dried-out grass in my lawn had recovered much of its lustrous spring green, and the garden’s edible and ornamental plants were noticeably happier and healthier.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I often take it for granted that the rains will always return, and that there’ll always be enough water to go around for both plants and humans. But when the dry days of summer morph into the dry months of summer, I realize the resource isn’t infinite, and that conservation is still important—and vital.

Enter Whatcom Water Weeks, an annual event put on by the Whatcom Watershed Information Network (WWIN). The network of representatives from government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, tribes and citizens have a mission to “support and improve watershed education, stewardship, information exchange and public involvement efforts in Whatcom County.”

For two weeks—Sat., Sept. 6 through Sat., Sept. 20—events designed to celebrate water and educate community members about its importance will fill the calendar. I’ll highlight a few of the events here, but be sure to peruse the organization’s website for a full listings of happenings, as activities are still being added.

With a theme this year of “Water, Food, and YOU!,” many of the Whatcom Water Weeks gatherings will focus on the oh-so-important connection between clean water and the production of foodstuffs—whether it’s crops, livestock, fisheries or forests.

“Without clean water, we stand to lose the local foods we enjoy, a large segment of our local economy and a way of life for many in our community,” organizers say. “Each of us plays a role in protecting our community’s future.”

In many cases, attendees can go straight to the source of the subjects up for discussion. For example, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) will host Nooksack River Campfire Talks Sept. 6, 13 and 20 focusing on salmon and stream ecology.

While snacking on smoked salmon at the Nooksack River’s Douglas Fir Campground, those in attendance will learn more about what the organization does to ensure salmon continue to thrive in our corner of the world. NSEA will also host guided river walks Sept. 7 and 14 at the Horseshoe Bend Trailhead in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Also on the food front is an “OysterFest” taking place Sept. 6 at BelleWood Acres, Sustainable Connections’ annual Whatcom County Farm Tour Sept. 13, a tour at Chuckanut Brewery Sept. 13, a “Gardening Green” series beginning Sept. 13 at Bellingham Public Works, and more.

But that’s far from all. Additional events include animal feedings and discussions at the Marine Life Center; a City of Bellingham “Water Wanders” tour; a Salmon Habitat Bike Tour with members of Whatcom Land Trust; a Skookum Hatchery Open House, a “Bounty on the Beach!” guided exploration for tideland treasures in Birch Bay,  a rain barrel tour, an educational cruise with the Stewards of Drayton Harbor, a “Steward Safari” in downtown Bellingham, tours of the Bellingham Cold Storage facility and the Canyon Hydro Plant, a beach-cleaning gathering at Whirlwind Beach, showings of The Unknown Sea: A Voyage on the Salish Sea documentary at the Pickford Film Center and the Bellingham Yacht Club, the Bellingham Traverse, agricultural buffer walks and a number of water-related storytelling events.

Whether you choose to attend one Whatcom Water Weeks event or plan to schedule your life according to its copious calendar, there’s no doubt that you’ll have a better understanding of the resource by the time the events draw to a close. By then, you might just be wishing for the rain to come back, already.

ICU
More Outdoors...
Recreation Roundup
An all-season outdoor expo

As I write these words from my perch on the sixth floor of the Herald Building, it’s early February and our corner of the world is blanketed in approximately six inches of still-accumulating snow. 

Despite the winter weather, Bellinghamsters are still out and about in full force. So far…

more »
Nordic Night
Putting the kick in cross-country

“It’s the perfect way to fly,” my old trail crew buddy Tryg said as he jammed his ski poles into the snow and pushed off into the night.

He was right. Even moving uphill on a pair of heirloom Madshus 210s he glided over the groomers so quickly and with such little apparent effort…

more »
Couples Therapy
The ins and outs of love

If you’re not in the right frame of mind to commemorate Valentine’s Day by gazing at your paramour across a candle-lit table, we’ve compiled a few alternate ways to spend time with your sweeties of choice in the coming days. They all involve going outside for an extended period of time, so…

more »
Events
Today
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Community Coffee and Tea

9:00am|East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

Ukulele for Everyone

4:00pm|Everson Library

Garden Design Class

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Handmade Pasta Class

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Kombucha and Kefir

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Frankie Gavin

6:30pm|Leopold Crystal Ballroom

Unsettlers

7:00pm|Village Books

Nothing simple about it

7:00pm

Mike Allen Quartet

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Panty Hoes

9:00pm|Rumors Cabaret

MBT Rovers Bellingham Technical College
Tomorrow
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Incognito

6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Pasta Faves

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Between Two Worlds

7:30pm|Make.Shift Art Space

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Village Books Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Friday
KMRE broadcaster receives citizen journalism award

5:00pm

17th annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival

10:00am|Whatcom County

New documentary focuses human rights film festival

7:52pm

Arsenic and Old Lace

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Into the Woods

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Up the Down Staircase

7:30pm|Squalicum High School

Ubu Roi

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

Spanish Storytime

10:30am|Lynden Library

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue

Weird Washington

5:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Whatcom Humane Society Wine Social

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

PhotoLUSH 2017

6:00pm|Lairmont Manor

Friday Night Art Party

6:00pm|Tillie Lace Gallery

Always…Patsy Cline

7:00pm|Conway Muse

And I Remember

7:00pm|Village Books

King John

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

International Guitar Night

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

James Hunter Six

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Borealis Wind Quintet

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow Final Weekend

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

MBT Rovers Bellingham Farmer’s Market Village Books Trove Northwood Steak and Crab Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Technical College