The WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project is the result of the 1998 Washington State Watershed Management Act.
The WRIA 1 Project is the result of the Washington State Watershed Management Act (Act) of 1998, which required all participating local governments to address water quantity, with the option of addressing water quality, instream flows, and fish habitat. The specific geographic areas covered under the Act are referred to as a Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAs). There are 62 WRIAs throughout Washington State. The majority of Whatcom County is in WRIA 1. In general WRIA 1 covers most of Whatcom County with a portion extending into Canada and Skagit County.
Participants in the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Project include the WRIA 1 Watershed Management Board and associated teams and the WRIA 1 Planning Unit (Structure Diagram). The WRIA 1 Watershed Management Board includes the Initiating Governments as identified in the Act. The Initiating Governments in WRIA 1 are the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Public Utility District No. 1, Lummi Nation, and Nooksack Indian Tribe. The WRIA 1 Planning Unit is a caucus-based structure composed of representatives from governments and citizen water resource interests. The WRIA 1 Watershed Management Board is also the Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery in Whatcom County and functions as the Whatcom Local Integrating Organization for the Puget Sound Restoration process coordinated by the Puget Sound Partnership.