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Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program (HIP)

Lake Whatcom Reservoir

Lake Whatcom Watershed residents, are invited to participate in the Homeowner Incentive Program (HIP), a cooperative program sponsored by the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County. Program participants receive assistance and reimbursement for materials and technical assistance when they complete projects on their property that reduce runoff and pollution entering the lake. Many of these water quality improvement projects also make beautiful landscape improvements.

Program staff provide on-site consultations, project design, permitting assistance, and materials and services reimbursement. Community members can work together through HIP to protect Lake Whatcom. 

The focus of the Homeowner Incentive Program is to provide support for homeowners to install projects that improve water quality on their properties. Project examples include riparian plantings, impervious surface removal, lawn removal and replacement, phosphorus limiting rain gardens, infiltration trenches, and porous paving materials.

Work in the Lake Whatcom Watershed is limited (no earthwork) during the wet season from October 1 - June 1. Due to the approaching close of the work season, the application period for earthwork projects is now CLOSED for 2015. Earthwork includes all digging that is not related to installing plants in mulched areas. If your project only involves mulching and planting, we will continue to accept your proposals.

Homeowner Incentive Program Brochure (PDF)

Program Details

For residents living in the City portion of the Lake Whatcom Watershed, City of Bellingham staff will:

Homeowners will:

To Request a Site Visit

Lake Whatcom Protection

The City and County have invested millions of dollars to protect and improve the water quality in Lake Whatcom with stormwater retrofits and treatment systems, property acquisition, education and outreach, and regulation and enforcement. For these efforts to be successful, residents must also change the way water runs through and off their properties. Water that runs off residential properties often carries excess fertilizers and pesticides, pet waste, car oil, and soaps, which harm the quality of our drinking water source and increase water treatment costs.

Infiltration Project Examples

Porous Pavement Option    Berm - Courtesy University of Rhode Island    Bioretention Swale - courtesy Seattle Pacific University    Infiltration Trench - Reliable Basement Services    Native Plant Lawn Replacement - Colleen Owen

M 8/25/2015

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