Presentation Abstract

High levels of fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) originating from non-point sources in the Nooksack drainage contribute to seasonal closures of Portage Bay shellfish beds. The sovereign Lummi Nation relies on the Portage Bay shellfish beds for ceremonial, subsistence, and commercial harvest. Lummi Nation’s shellfish harvest rights are secured through a treaty with the United States (US) government. Washington State Governor Inslee has made achieving year-round approved shellfish harvest in Portage Bay a priority issue. The BC/WA Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) is led by Director Bellon for Washington and Deputy Minister Zacharias for British Columbia. Within the ECC structure, representatives from environment, health, and agriculture agencies in BC and Washington and observers from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the US Environmental Protection Agency formed the BC/WA Nooksack River Transboundary Water Quality Task Group (WQTG) in late 2016 to develop common understandings of: Current water quality issues and data; Conditions related to FCBs in transboundary waters and tributaries to the Nooksack River and the downstream Portage Bay; Legislative structures, policies and best practices; and Opportunities to reduce preventable sources of FCB pollution in each jurisdiction. The WQTG approved a Project Charter in January 2017 outlining key deliverables and objectives. By early 2018, the team will achieve a shared understanding of the available water quality data related to FCBs in the Nooksack River drainage and will submit recommended actions for the ECC to consider. The WQTG has completed webinars, a data inventory, an in-person technical meeting, and a draft gap analysis. The WQTG will complete the gap analysis, write recommendations generated from the gap analysis, and deliver draft and final recommendations to the ECC.

Session Title

British Columbia / Washington Collaboration on Transboundary Water Quality: Fecal Coliform Bacteria and Nitrogen in the Nooksack River

Keywords

Transboundary cooperation, Fecal coliform, Nooksack Basin

Conference Track

SSE9: Transboundary Management and Policy

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE9-520

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:15 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 9:30 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:15 AM Apr 6th, 9:30 AM

The Nooksack River Transboundary Water Quality Task Group

High levels of fecal coliform bacteria (FCB) originating from non-point sources in the Nooksack drainage contribute to seasonal closures of Portage Bay shellfish beds. The sovereign Lummi Nation relies on the Portage Bay shellfish beds for ceremonial, subsistence, and commercial harvest. Lummi Nation’s shellfish harvest rights are secured through a treaty with the United States (US) government. Washington State Governor Inslee has made achieving year-round approved shellfish harvest in Portage Bay a priority issue. The BC/WA Environmental Cooperation Council (ECC) is led by Director Bellon for Washington and Deputy Minister Zacharias for British Columbia. Within the ECC structure, representatives from environment, health, and agriculture agencies in BC and Washington and observers from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the US Environmental Protection Agency formed the BC/WA Nooksack River Transboundary Water Quality Task Group (WQTG) in late 2016 to develop common understandings of: Current water quality issues and data; Conditions related to FCBs in transboundary waters and tributaries to the Nooksack River and the downstream Portage Bay; Legislative structures, policies and best practices; and Opportunities to reduce preventable sources of FCB pollution in each jurisdiction. The WQTG approved a Project Charter in January 2017 outlining key deliverables and objectives. By early 2018, the team will achieve a shared understanding of the available water quality data related to FCBs in the Nooksack River drainage and will submit recommended actions for the ECC to consider. The WQTG has completed webinars, a data inventory, an in-person technical meeting, and a draft gap analysis. The WQTG will complete the gap analysis, write recommendations generated from the gap analysis, and deliver draft and final recommendations to the ECC.