Public Speaker Series

Public Speaker Series

The Public Speaker Series is jointly coordinated by the Whatcom MRC and the Whatcom Watershed Information Network (WWIN). The speaker series draws a diverse crowd and provides an opportunity for MRC members to connect with the community about marine resource issues or topics. 

Developing educational events and materials, coordinating volunteer projects, and partnering with other groups to facilitate collaborative workshops and projects are commitments of the Whatcom MRC. The Whatcom MRC and the Whatcom Watershed Information Network hosts and participates in a variety of community events including public speaker events, summits, and open houses. These activities are designed to involve the community and create a greater awareness of marine resources and the issues that surround them.

Speaker Series Events


  • Regional (WRIA 1) Water Supply Plan Phase 2 - Andy Dunn, RH2 Engineering Inc.  The WRIA 1 Planning Unit is hosted a presentation on the Regional (WRIA1) Water Supply Plan Phase 2 planning work.  The Phase 2 report was prepared by RH2 Engineering, Inc. for 11 subbasins within Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 1.  The intended use is for water supply planning purposes, and includes water use estimates for existing (2020) and future (2070) conditions. Watch video HERE.
  • Integrated Floodplain Planning in Whatcom County - Learn about Whatcom County’s Floodplain Integrated Planning process and how this will guide future work to reduce flood risk, recover salmon populations, and to improve the resiliency of floodplain agriculture and floodplain communities in Whatcom County. Experts working with Whatcom County on this integrated approach explained: The Floodplain Integrated Planning Process, the dynamic nature of the Nooksack River and management challenges, some of the challenges in developing a computer model to replicate the November 2021 flood on the Nooksack River and the next steps for how this tool will be used in the future, and the current quality of salmon habitat in the lower Nooksack River. This free event featured the following talks:

    An Overview of the Floodplain Integrated Planning Process presented by Paula Harris, Whatcom County River and Flood Manager.

    An Introduction to the Nooksack River:  Fluvial Setting, Human Influences, and Management Challenges presented by Karin Boyd, Principle Geomorphologist, Applied Geomorphology, Inc. 

    Creating a Computer Model of the November 2021 Nooksack River Floods presented by Todd Bennett, Principle, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants.

    Lower Nooksack Salmon Habitat Assessment: Findings and Applications presented by Jason Hall, Senior Scientist, Cramer Fish Sciences.

    Watch presentations HERE 

  • Salmon Habitat Restoration: Voluntary Programs with Benefits for Landowners and the Environment - Aneka Sweeney, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Whatcom Conservation District. Habitat and restoration programs provide a simple and accessible way for landowners to steward their land and restore natural habitats for salmon, wildlife biodiversity, and water quality. Learn about the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Salmon Recovery Restoration Program (SRRP), Annual Native Plant Sale, the Neighborhood Native Landscaping Program, wildfire and forestry resources, fish passage barrier removal and other great opportunities!Watch presentation HERE.


  • Salmonid research, monitoring, and restoration efforts in the South Fork Nooksack River- Devin Flawd, Stock Assessment Manager, Lummi Nation Natural Resources Department, describes the most current population of Chinook in the South Fork Nooksack River as well as other key salmonids in the watershed.  The impact of restoration projects on salmon returns was also discussed. Watch video HERE.
  • Wildfire Season is Coming - Is Your Home Firewise? Ten Tips for Drought Tolerant Landscaping- Jenny Coe, Community Wildfire Resilience Coordinator, Whatcom & Skagit Conservation Districts and Cheryl Lovato Nile, Water Resources Educator, WSU Whatcom County Extension.  Watch video "Is your home firewise?" HERE. Ten tips for drought tolerant landscaping HERE.


  • Seabed Mining: "The Dawn of an Industry" and the need for a precautionary approach - Lee First, Twin Harbors Waterkeeper and Liz Schotman, Washington Regional Manager, Surfrider Foundation.  See PowerPoint HERE.
  • Car Tires Killing Coho - New Research - Jen McIntrye, Washington State University.  Watch video HERE.
  • Tribal Fishing Culture - We’ve gone from Honoring Salmon to Protecting Salmon and from Sustaining a Way of Life to Preserving a Way of Life - Frank Lawrence III, Lummi Nation, George Swanaset Jr. “Yel7qaynem”, Nooksack Indian Tribe.  Watch video HERE.
  • CoSMoS Modelling for Whatcom County - Eric Grossman, PhD, Research Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey and Ian Miller, PhD, Coastal Hazards Specialist, Washington SeaGrant.  Watch video HERE.


  • Climate Action Planning in Whatcom County - Chris Elder, Whatcom County (April 2, 2020).  See PowerPoint presentation here.
  • Monitoring Forage Fish in the Salish Sea - Lisa Hillier, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  See presentation here.  
  • Local and Broadscale Patterns of Sea Star Recovery - Melissa Miner, Researcher, UC Santa Cruz.  See PowerPoint presentation HERECOVID-19 Effects on the Local Fishing Industry  - Pete Granger, Whatcom Working Waterfront Coalition.  Zoom recording of both presentations HERE.
  • Tsunami Hazards in Whatcom County - Dr. Carrie Garrison-Laney, Tsunami Hazards Specialist and PMEL Liaison, Washington Sea Grant. Tsunami Planning for Whatcom County - John Gargett, Deputy Director, Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.  Zoom recording of both presentation HERE.

    For more information visit:

    NOAA Comprehensive tsunami website:

    Washington Department of Natural Resources Tsunami pages/reports

    Washington Emergency Management Division Tsunami information and Tsunami Roadshow archive

  • Defending Drayton Harbor: Managing the recent invasion of European Green Crab collaboratively - Emily Grason, Washington SeaGrant, Chelsey Buffington, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Alexandra Simpson, Northwest Straits Commission, April Fleming, WDFW, Lindsey Parker, WDFW. Zoom recording available HERE.


Public Speaker Series