Project Overview: EN052
What is the Little Squalicum Estuary project?
The Little Squalicum Estuary project will help improve water quality and restore essential coastal habitat that has been lost to development. The project will restore 4.85 total acres of coastal habitat including a 2.4-acre estuary, and will remove a fish passage barrier at the mouth of Little Squalicum Creek just two miles east of the Nooksack River Delta in Little Squalicum Park. The Nooksack provides critical habitat for all five Pacific salmon species. The estuary is expected to be used by juvenile (young) salmon originating from the lower Nooksack basin (Bellingham Bay, Squalicum Creek, and the Nooksack River). The project includes excavating the estuary, re-aligning the existing creek and trail, installing native plants, and installing a new pedestrian bridge and culvert.
How will project construction impact access to Little Squalicum Park?
During construction, there will be times that the southern portion of the park and beach area are temporarily inaccessible for the safety of park users between June and December 2022. Some areas will remain open when practical. Signs are posted to alert recreational users of park access changes. Please heed signs and give the contractor some space. Although the majority of construction will be complete at the end of 2022, we will continue to plant native plants through March 2023.
Find answers to additional questions in the Project FAQ.
Status – July 2022
Next Milestones: Construction crews are working on vegetation removal, access preparation, and geotechnical work in Little Squalicum Park. Crews and equipment will access the site from Lindbergh Drive. The east trail will be fully closed on the water side of Marine Drive, while limited beach access will be available via the west trail depending on current construction conditions.
Accomplishments: Permitting, bidding, and contracting complete.
Thanks to the 100+ people who joined us at our Open House event at Bellingham Technical College on May 25. Materials from the event are available under the Reference Documents section below.
Current Project Updates
Projects that are currently under construction are featured in our weekly project news releases. Please check the news releases below for the most recent project updates and sign up to receive City news updates directly to your email inbox.
- Status – Construction
- Contract Awarded – May 9, 2022
- Contract Amount – $3,474,179.48
- Contractor – Glacier Environmental Services
- Little Squalicum Estuary Project FAQ (PDF)
- Little Squalicum Estuary Slides from May 2022 Open House (PDF)
- Little Squalicum Estuary Display Board from May 2022 Open House (PDF)
- Little Squalicum Estuary Preliminary Bid Plans, 2021 (PDF)
- Little Squalicum Park Master Plan 2010 (PDF)
- Nearshore Juvenile Chinook Study
- Little Squalicum Estuary Habitat Page
- The Pier at Little Squalicum Park
Sign up for our Habitat News email list to receive updates about this project and other City restoration projects in Bellingham, as well as volunteer opportunities.