ADVISORY COMMITTEE INFORMATION

BBWARM has a Citizen Advisory Committee with five members appointed by the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors (County Council) for four-year terms. The Advisory Committee represents the Birch Bay community to ensure its interests are represented in BBWARM activities. The committee is integrally involved in setting strategic goals and work plans, prioritizing capital improvement projects, and recommending budgets for the BBWARM stormwater program.

BBWARM ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Michael Allan

(Chair)

Michael is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County and moved to Birch Bay a little over a year ago. He joined the BBWARM Advisory Committee to learn about, and provide guidance on projects that will improve neighborhoods and the landscape of the community. Michael became aware of our community needs during the winter solstice storm of 2018, which caused significant damage to the area. He also followed the progress of the Berm project closely and enjoys hearing community member concerns and playing a small part in addressing those issues.

Donald Brown

(Vice Chair)

Don is a lifelong Birch Bay resident. His family bought property in Birch Bay in 1933, and most of it has stayed in the family ever since. Don has worked in a variety of professions; most recently as a general contractor. He joined the BBWARM Advisory Committee to be more involved in the community. The water, weather, people and quiet neighborhoods are Don’s favorite things about Birch Bay. In his free time, he enjoys boating to his cabin on Waldron Island, crabbing, and shrimping.

Jackie Bourgault

Jackie is a licensed professional civil engineer who has worked in Whatcom County for the last 17 years. She has worked mainly in land development/land use and has specialized in stormwater/watershed modeling along with stormwater design. Jackie currently works at BP Cherry Point Refinery and when she worked in the Environmental department she was responsible for the site’s stormwater program, air compliances as well as the site’s land use permitting program. She joined the BBWARM Advisory Committee because she wanted to help support the various ways we can work to protect our drainage pathways utilizing innovative designs and a collaborative approach between the multiple stakeholders. Jackie has a specific interest in water quality issues related to stormwater management and is eager to work with the committee on opportunities to make meaningful improvements in the area.

Patrick Alesse

Patrick is a long-time Birch Bay business owner and also has a professional background in teaching. Being more involved in the community was what motivated him to join the BBWARM Advisory Committee. Patrick’s favorite thing about Birch Bay is the natural environment and the people.

Bob Shanabarger

Bob worked in supplier management for 30 years at Boeing. He was motivated to join the BBWARM Advisory Committee because he wanted to be involved in the community and the Birch Bay area. He lives within a 15-minute walk from the beach and enjoys fishing, dog sports, dog shows, and spending time with his grandkids. Bob’s favorite thing to do in Birch Bay is to walk through Birch Bay State Park in the fall.

BBWARM ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER REFERENCE INFORMATION

Meetings

Meetings are scheduled quarterly on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 6-8pm (usually in January, April, July and October). One of the quarterly meetings is typically hosted as a daytime annual retreat instead of an evening meeting. Other special work sessions or public meetings may be scheduled as needed. Meetings are open to the public and advertised. Staff create a draft agenda, review it with the committee chair, and finalize it one week prior to each meeting when it’s then posted on the website and emailed out. Please reach out to staff in advance if there are topics you would like added to the agenda. Each advisory committee member is responsible for attending and actively participating in at least four advisory committee meetings per year.

BBWARM meetings and records are subject to the Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30) and Public Records Act (RCW 42.56).


Open Public Meetings Act Key Points:

  • Any BBWARM Advisory Committee discussion between three or more members (a quorum) needs to take place at a public meeting

  • Any discussion in person, by phone, or via email between three or more members should be postponed until it can be held at a public meeting

  • Meeting time, location, and agenda are advertised to the public in advance

  • No conditions on public attendance

  • No right of the public to comment or discuss

  • Special meetings and work sessions are also required to be public meetings

  • Open Public Meetings Act


Public Records Act Key Points:

  • All BBWARM related documents (including email) are considered public records and subject to retention requirements and public information requests

  • Email communication on personal computers is NOT exempt

  • Public Records Act



Committee Rules, Expectations, and Definitions:


Committee Establishment:

SHELLFISH PROTECTION DISTRICT

The area around the mouth of Terrell Creek was closed to shellfish harvest by the Washington State Department of Health in 2008 due to high fecal coliform levels in the creek. State law required the creation of the Birch Bay Shellfish Protection District in 2009 in response to the closure. Because the BBWARM District and Advisory Committee were already established and working on efforts to improve water quality in the Birch Bay Watershed, Whatcom County Council established the Birch Bay Shellfish Protection District with the same boundaries and shared advisory committee membership in 2009. The Birch Bay Shellfish Protection District Advisory Committee includes the five BBWARM members plus additional representation of tribal and shellfish interests (currently vacant). BBWARM’s stormwater program implements priority recommendations from the shellfish closure response strategy.


Shellfish Protection Reference Information: