Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 1, 2003
Contact: Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136
Gov. Gary Locke Tours Restoration Projects, Holds Water Roundtable During Bellingham VisitGov. Gary Locke today viewed water restoration efforts in the Nooksack River Basin and hosted a water roundtable discussion during his visit to the Bellingham area.
Locke was in town to view stream repair and salmon recovery, and discuss water-quality protection issues affecting the region and state. Joining the governor on the visit was Rep. Kelli Linville, D-Bellingham.
“Water is the lifeblood of the Nooksack Basin’s farmland and salmon habitat,” Locke said. “I believe that the success we see in the basin illustrates exactly the type of effort we need in other areas of Washington.”
Locke stopped to view Tenmile Creek and learn about watershed restoration work being done to foster shellfish bed growth and incorporate stream buffers. He also visited Bertrand Creek to examine irrigation efficiencies and hear about collaborative efforts between the Nooksack and Lummi tribes and farmers.
The governor then hosted a roundtable at Homestead Farms Convention Center with local and regional leaders to discuss water issues and thank the group for their efforts to successfully protect and manage this vital natural resource.
“Water issues are defined by more than results. They are also defined by the people who work on them daily to find solutions to a complex set of problems,” Locke said. “I am proud of the work being done in the Nooksack basin and the continuing dialogue within the communities.”
The governor highlighted that in the last eight years nearly 1,200 acres of trees and other vegetation has been replanted along 75 miles of streams in the watershed to provide shade for cooling water temperature and filtering stormwater runoff. In addition, 99 culverts and other blockages have been removed, opening an additional 46 miles of free-flowing streams for salmon travel.
“We are glad the governor has had a chance to see the work being done in Whatcom County and speak with the people who make it happen,” said Linville. “This community has done a tremendous job to join together to address water issues.”
The governor’s visit to Bellingham is the second in a series of statewide visits to view and discuss water-related issues with local communities. Locke toured Walla Walla in November and plans to visit the Yakima area next week.