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 Family Foundation, 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.
Six PAC or DRT meetings 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 documented and incorporated into 90% design plans.
January 12, 2019: DRT members attended a 90% design review meeting, where final feedback was received and used in finalizing design.
The project has currently secured $5.5 million in match funding for planning and construction. Funding for this project has come from a collection of public and private sources, including Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the City of Bellingham, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Resources Legacy Fund through its Open Rivers Fund program.
Construction funding for the project has been appropriated in the 2019-2021 capital budget by the Washington State Legislature as part of 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, resulting in a #1 ranking project on the PSAR Large Capital project list for the 2019-2021 biennium.