The City of Bellingham is working to
restore riparian areas of Squalicum Creek to improve bank stability. Due to
the high proportion of impervious surfaces in the lower Squalicum Creek
watershed, rainstorms cause "flashy" flow conditions in Squalicum Creek,
which means that the amount and velocity of water in the stream changes
rapidly. As this water rushes past backyards and roadways it threatens to
destabilize the banks.
Along with repairing multiple culverts on Squalicum
Parkway to improve fish passage, the City of Bellingham also undertook a
large bank stabilization project downstream of West Street to protect
Squalicum Parkway from erosion. In September 2005 the City installed a
series of large woody debris (LWD) structures to stabilize the banks along
Squalicum Creek in order to protect Squalicum Parkway and nearby homes from
erosion while at the same time improving in-stream habitat conditions.
The City and its Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crews continue to maintain and monitor this site. The site is visited multiple times per year for routine maintenance, such as surveying for and controlling noxious weeds and other invasive plants. In winter 2016-2017, the WCC crews planted 750 native shrubs and 75 native conifers on lower Squalicum Creek.
The City also includes this section of the stream in its weekly spawner surveys. These surveys have identified chum spawning in lower Squalicum Creek.