Whatcom County

Location of Whatcom County in Washington StateWhatcom County is located in the northwest portion of Washington State.  It is bordered on the east by Okanogan County, the south by Skagit County and the southwest by San Juan County.  As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Whatcom County had a total land area of 2,106.86 square miles and a population of 201,140.  Bellingham is the largest city with a population of 80,885.  Also of interest:

  • Intersecting watershed sub-basins(6):  Similkameen, Methow, Fraser, Strait of Georgia, Nooksack and Upper Skagit.
  • Major lakes:  Lake Whatcom, Baker Lake, Ross Lake and Samish Lake.
  • Major rivers:  Nooksack River, Baker River, Chilliwack River, Samish River and Skagit River.
  • Mount Baker (10,781 feet) is part of the Cascade Range and the highest point in Whatcom County.  It is also one of five major composit volcaonoes (sometimes called stratovolcanoes) located in Washington State.

U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts for Whatcom County, WA

Office of Financial Management (OFM) county data for Whatcom County, WA



Protecting Puget Sound watersheds from agricultural pollution using a progressive manure application risk management (ARM) system

Throughout the Puget Sound region, impacted and poorly managed agriculture has been repeatedly advanced as a leading contributor to surface and ground water pollution, particularly during the winter months. A study conducted from 2010 - 2015 aimed to develop an Application Risk Management (ARM) System to minimize pollution from manure in Whatcom County. 

Birch Bay. Photo by Jeff Rice

Birch Bay characterization and watershed planning pilot – taking action

A 2015 report from the Whatcom Conservation District and Whatcom County describes a pilot watershed characterization study focusing on the Terrell Creek and Birch Bay areas. The report and related appendices are available for download. 

Report cover photo by Victor Mesny.

Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the North Cascades Region, Washington

A 2014 report by the North Cascadia Adaptation Partnership identifies climate change issues relevant to resource management in the North Cascades, and recommends solutions that will facilitate the transition of the diverse ecosystems of this region into a warmer climate.

Whatcom County’s Colonial Creek Campground site 85. Photo: Miguel Vieira  (CC BY 2.0) https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6089/6063751537_49e65160f2_b.jpg

Developing human wellbeing indicators related to the natural environment for Whatcom County

An October 2014 report examines the planning and monitoring of human wellbeing as a component of resource management in Whatcom County.


2010 Census Quick Facts for Whatcom County, WA

Learn more about demographics in Whatcom County, Washington.  The U.S. Census Bureau published the following quick facts.