The city of Bellingham’s dam has been diverting water from the Nooksack’s Middle Fork since 1962 to supplement its main source of water, which is Lake Whatcom — the drinking water source for nearly 100,000 residents of Bellingham and Whatcom County.
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The salmon and the whales are cultural symbols — and, in the case of salmon, an important food source — for the Nooksack and Lummi tribes in Whatcom County, who are among the public-private coalition working to remove the diversion dam.