Natural Resources

Whatcom County Government offices are temporarily closed to public “in person” services. (Our lobby/Permit Centers will be closed to the public.) However, our Natural Resource Planners are all working and “open for business”.We will continue to provide services for application processing and staff will be available to assist customers and the public via telephone, email and video conferencing options.

We are accepting all applications digitally. To submit an application or permit--email epermits@co.whatcom.wa.us with your application materials. When your application is accepted you will get an e-mail with your permit number and applicable fees. Once your fees are paid your application we will processed for review by Natural Resource staff.

  • Pay for my permit--To pay for your permit or application you will receive an email from staff with the permit balance due.  Once you have received this information you can pay for your permit by the following options:
    • Credit or Debit Card. Call 360-778-5900 to arrange payment. (there is a 2.35% transaction fee on credit cards, $1.00 for debit cards.)
    • Mail a check payable to Whatcom County Planning to 5280 Northwest Drive, Bellingham WA 98226. (please include your permit number on the check)

Contact Us

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

    Staff Directory

    Frequently Asked Questions
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).

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.