Natural Resources

  1. Clarifications on Stay Home-Stay Healthy Pertaining to Construction

    Whatcom County Planning and Development Services outlines clarifications to Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” statewide order and appendix as it pertains to construction, identifying nearly all construction as nonessential. Read on...
  2. Planning & Development & Public Works Engineering Change In Service

    Planning and Development & Public Works Engineering Departments will temporarily close for "in person" services effective Wednesday March 18th. We will still be "open for business" but providing services via telephone, email and video conferencing. Read on...
  3. New Pilot Project -- Do It Yourself Mitigation Plan

    Whatcom County announces a pilot project to allow single-family homeowners to complete their own mitigation plans. This Do it Yourself (DIY) mitigation packet is for projects impacting 1,000 square feet or less of critical area buffers. Read on...
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One of the greatest assets of Whatcom County is its bounty of natural resources. The forests, lakes, rivers and streams, wetlands, marine shorelines, and wildlife prevalent throughout the county play a large role in making this one of the most desirable places to live in the country.
Environmental Permitting
The Environmental Permitting teams are tasked with reviewing land use and development permit applications for compliance with Whatcom County codes and development standards. 
  • Shoreline Technical Administrators review for compliance with the Shoreline Management Program (Whatcom County Code Title 23).
  • Critical Areas Technical Administrators review for compliance with the Critical Areas Ordinance (Whatcom County Code Title 16.16).
  • Watersheds Technical Administrators review within regulated watersheds for compliance with clearing, impervious surfaces, and tree canopy retention (Whatcom County Code Title 20).

Contact Us

  1. Team visiting the filed to check on water
    Ryan Ericson, Supervisor
    Phone: 360-778-5900
    NR Planner VM: 360-778-5962

    Let us know how we are doing by taking our 
    customer survey!

    Staff Directory

    Frequently Asked Questions

Building Near a Wetland

Planning and Development Services has developed a series of three short videos explaining wetlands – what they are, why they are protected, and how to work through the permitting process if there are wetlands on your property. Follow a husband and wife team as they find out they have a wetland on their building site, how it might affect their plans, and how to protect the wetland while still meeting their goals.

Part 1: What?! Is that a Wetland on my Building Site? With the help of Mr. Frog we meet the Jones’, a husband and wife who want to build their dream home but find their building site inundated after a storm. We follow them as they work with PDS staff and Super Consultant to confirm that there’s a wetland on their property.

Part 2: Why are Wetlands So Important?  We continue following the Jones’ as they learn from Mr. Frog, PDS staff, and Super Consultant why wetlands and their buffers are important and thus protected, how they are delineated, and which rules apply.

Part 3: How Do I Properly Build Near a Wetland? Mr. Frog, PDS staff, and Super Consultant help the Jones’ understand the regulations and how they can properly build near a wetland while still achieving their goals.