After a series of public meetings, research, and engineering analysis, the Lake Samish Stormwater Comprehensive Plan is now ready for public review and comment. The draft is dated June 1st, 2012. There will be a public meeting to receive comment on this plan on Wednesday June 27th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm @ the South Whatcom Fire Authority Station #29, 705 West Lake Samish Drive, Bellingham, WA.


The Lake Samish Basin is an 8,020 acre watershed located in the southwest corner of Whatcom County, Washington.  The basin drains to Lake Samish (an 826 acre, freshwater lake) and is a sub-basin of the Samish River Basin which drains to Samish Bay.   In addition to providing many recreational opportunities, Lake Samish serves at the primary drinking water source for approximately 95% of residents in the area, most of whom draw their water directly from the lake.  Recent monitoring studies have revealed a decline in the lake water quality due, in part, to sediment and external nutrient loading from development and land use practices within the basin.   Since there is no public water treatment and distribution system within the basin, this deteriorating water quality could eventually represent a public health and safety issue.


In response to this situation, the Whatcom County Stormwater Division initiated a stormwater planning effort for the Lake Samish Basin in 2009.


Goals of the Lake Samish Comprehensive Stormwater Planning Effort

  1. Identify and Address Public Stakeholder Issues Regarding Stormwater Issues in the Basin.
  2. Construct and Calibrate a Working Hydrologic Model for the Lake Samish Basin.
  3. Review Current Stormwater Codes, Regulations, and Programs and Recommend Modifications, as Necessary, to Address Issues in the Basin.
  4. Identify and Rank Potential Stormwater Programs and Projects to Address Issues in the Basin.
  5. Craft a Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan for the Basin.
  6. Identify Funding Mechanisms for Implementation of the Plan Project.

Contact Information

Kraig Olason

Senior Planner

Public Works Stormwater Division