Whatcom County annual BEACH report

We monitored five beaches in Whatcom County from June 1 – Aug. 31, 2020:

  • Birch Bay County Park
  • Blaine Marine Drive 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 2020, we sampled 63 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 five beaches in Whatcom County weekly from June 1 – Aug. 31, 2020.

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 2020.

Beach

GM

STV

Birch Bay County Park Beach

13

38

Blaine Marine Drive Park

30

568

Larrabee State Park Beach

18

67

Little Squalicum Park Beach

73

768

Port of Bellingham Marine Park Beach

11

17