PRESS RELEASE – January 5, 2021

Contact: Dillon Honcoop –

Whatcom Family Farmers president: “A comprehensive effort to pursue all possible solutions… must begin immediately”

(LYNDEN, Wash.) As wide swaths of north Whatcom County continue to clean up and rebuild after November’s devastating flooding disaster, the local farming community is calling for a list of key changes to help prevent another tragedy.

Whatcom Family Farmers says water storage options, river sediment removal, levy and other waterway improvements, and protection of farmland all need to be on the table, as well as any other feasible ideas.

Rich Appel, President of Whatcom Family Farmers, said no single project will solve the whole problem, and that’s why farmers are calling for a comprehensive approach that pursues all possible fixes.

Appel points not only to the devastation of the November floods, but also to dangerously low stream levels caused by drought just a few months before, and the harm that caused to salmon populations, as indicative of a larger problem.

“Though seemingly opposites, both crises have the same cause. The Nooksack Basin does not have a water supply problem; the basin has a water management problem,” Appel wrote in a new opinion article that outlined important work that farmers say needs to be done right away.

“As farmers, we too have felt the devastation, and know how critical it is for our entire community to act now on real solutions,” wrote Appel.

Whatcom Family Farmers is inviting anyone interested in protecting Whatcom families, fish and farming from another flooding tragedy to support the push for immediate change.

Additional details on possible projects to solve the Nooksack Basin’s water management crisis can be found here.

More information on how you can join the effort is here.