Keeping beaches safe
The Beach Environmental Assessment, Communication & Health (BEACH) Program ensures that marine water is safe to swim and play in and informs the public if water doesn't meet swimming standards.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2019, we sampled 62 public high-use beaches statewide, either weekly or biweekly, for enterococcus, a type of fecal bacteria. High enterococcus levels are linked to swimmer illness.
Whatcom County saltwater swimming beaches
We monitored four beaches in Whatcom County weekly from May 20 – Aug. 30, 2019.
Find details about each of the Whatcom County beaches below:
Data summary: Bacteria results compared to standards
The chart below summarizes the bacteria levels at Whatcom County beaches in relation to the EPA swimming standard or saltwater swimming criteria. Beaches are considered unsafe for swimming when the geometric mean of enterococcus/100 mL of water is greater than or equal to 30 and the statistical threshold value of enterococcus/100 mL is greater than or equal to 110. We issue a public swimming advisory when enterococcus levels exceed 104 per 100 mL of water.
Table: Calculated geometric mean and statistical threshold value at Whatcom County beaches (in enterococcus per 100 mL) for 2019
||Statistical Threshold Value
|Birch Bay County Park Beach
|Larrabee State Park Beach
|Little Squalicum State Park Beach
|Port of Bellingham Marine Park Beach