This project is a result of collaboration between the City of Bellingham, Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and American Rivers, with funding from Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, the City of Bellingham, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Resources Legacy Fund through their Open Rivers Fund.
A Partner Advisory Committee (PAC) and Design Review Team (DRT) were formed in December 2017 to advance the project in full coordination with project partners and technical reviewers.
Five PAC or DRT have been held since December 2017:
December 7, 2017: a PAC meeting was held to provide information on new project funding and the project schedule, as well as to gain clarity on the desired project outcomes of each partner entity.
January 25, 2018: a PAC meeting was held to collaborate on approaches to streamline permitting and secure funding.
February 12, 2018: PAC and DRT members attended an Alternative Selection Workshop to review alternatives proposed and discuss the basis of design for a proposed preferred alternative.
August 1, 2018: DRT members attended a 30% design review meeting, where early draft preliminary design plans and reports were reviewed and discussed. Input and feedback was documented and incorporated into 60% design plans.
October 24, 2018: DRT members attended a 60% design review meeting, where preliminary design plans and reports were reviewed and discussed. Input and feedback was documents and will be incorporated into 90% design plans.
The project has currently secured $5.5 million in match funding for design and construction. Funding for this project has come from a collection of public and private sources, including Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, the City of Bellingham, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Resources Legacy Fund through its Open Rivers Fund program. The project team is currently working to secure critical funding needed through the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) Fund program. The Middle Fork Nooksack River project has been identified as a high priority for salmon recovery, and is ranked as the #1 project on the PSAR Large Capital project list. State funding of the PSAR Fund program is currently pending legislative approval through the capital budget process.