Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program

The Homeowner Incentive Program (HIP) provides assistance to Lake Whatcom Watershed residents to complete water quality landscape improvements on their property that reduce runoff and pollution entering the lake. Many of these water quality improvements also make beautiful landscape improvements.

HIP was piloted under a Washington State Department of Ecology grant from 2011 – 2015. In 2016, enrollment in HIP was on hold while City of Bellingham and Whatcom County staff worked to gather feedback from stakeholders on what worked well in the pilot program and what could be improved. This information was used to develop a new and improved HIP that launched in spring 2017.  Additional program updates were made in 2021, including expanding the HIP program area to the entire Lake Whatcom watershed. Interested homeowners can visit the HIP website at to learn more.

For More Information

  • If you live within the city portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed, please contact Eli Mackiewicz at (360) 778-7742 or
  • If you live within the county portion of the Lake Whatcom watershed, please contact Ingrid Enschede at (360) 778-6229 or


HIP Pilot Final Report

Lake Whatcom Protection

The City and County are substantially invested in protecting and improving water quality in Lake Whatcom through stormwater retrofits and treatment systems, property acquisition, education and outreach, and regulation and enforcement. For these efforts to be successful, residents must also change the way water runs through and off of their properties. Water that runs off of residential properties often carries excess nutrients, pet waste, car oil, and soaps, which all harm the quality of our drinking water source and increase water treatment costs.

Infiltration Project Examples


Public Works Contacts