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History
Benefits
Marina under construction
Building a new marina will:
  • Convert a giant wastewater treatment lagoon into a new marina
  • Provide enormous economic, environmental, and community benefits
  • Remove the highest levels of historic contamination from our waterfront
  • Transform underutilized industrial property into a vibrant community waterfront

Bubble Days of Bellingham
Since 1978, Bellingham’s central waterfront has been dominated by a giant wastewater treatment lagoon. Many locals remember frothy bubbles blowing out of the lagoon on windy days and covering the surrounding neighborhood. They could tell what color of paper was being made at Georgia-Pacific’s (GP) pulp and tissue mill by the color of bubbles landing on their cars. In 2001, GP’s pulp mill shut down, and the bubble days of Bellingham were gone forever.

Deciding on a Marina
GP wanted to use the idle lagoon as a toxic dump site for historic contamination they had released into Bellingham Bay. Port officials, concerned about the future of the waterfront, looked at other possibilities for the 30-acre lagoon, including stormwater treatment, aquaculture, a park, commercial uses, and a new marina. The port determined that a marina would have the most economic, environmental, and community benefits, and would meet a specific public purpose by helping satisfy an increasing demand for boat moorage.

Building Procedures
Building a marina inside the lagoon will be an incredible engineering feat and will include:
  • Cutting down the enormous breakwater surrounding the lagoon and shaping it to a smaller size more typical of marinas
  • Opening the breakwater to allow the lagoon to once again become part of Bellingham Bay
  • Removing 350,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils and sludges from the lagoon and transporting them by rail or barge to a certified upland landfill
  • Using excess material inside the breakwater to create shallow habitat benches throughout the central waterfront


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1801 Roeder Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225, Ph: (360) 676-2500