Whatcom County annual BEACH report

We monitored four beaches in Whatcom County from May 20 – Aug. 30, 2019:

  • Birch Bay County Park
  • Larrabee State Park
  • Little Squalicum State Park
  • Port of Bellingham Marine Park

Larrabee State Park Beach in Whatcom County.

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

Beach Geometric Mean Statistical Threshold Value
Birch Bay County Park Beach 13 25
Larrabee State Park Beach 15 31
Little Squalicum State Park Beach 94 1454
Port of Bellingham Marine Park Beach 12 17