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Working Waterfront

Working Waterfront is an occasional series that captures the past, present and future of Whatcom County’s waterfront, and highlights the people behind the industry.

Stories and photos by Hailey Hoffman

Overview: The reshaping of Bellingham Bay — from past to present

Does the waterfront, as once envisioned, still play a central role? And at what cost?

Part one explores how Bellingham’s waterfront has changed.

Bellingham's shoreline history: A boom, bust of resource extraction

Until 1850, the impacts of European and American settlers was limited

Part two explores the figures and businesses that made Bellingham’s waterfront what it is today.

Captain Jeffery Smith, left, and Tom Riley untie the David B from its slip at Squalicum Harbor.

1929 tour boat David B depends on Bellingham port support

Robust network of businesses support repairs, maintenance for dozens of boats

Part three highlights the Alaskan tour boat, David B and its economic ties to Bellingham. 

Local fisherman Ficus Chan moves a frozen tuna into a bucket to weigh on Oct. 31

Local fishermen preserve tradition amid declining industry

Five fishermen reflect on their labor of love, honoring maritime significance

In part four, meet some of the fishermen who call Whatcom County home.

Research vessel IMUA sits on a yellow tow outside of All American Marine.

All American Marine known for innovative hybrid-electric craft

Five fishermen reflect on their labor of love, honoring maritime significance

In part five, learn about local boat manufacturer All American Marine.

A sunset photo of the boardwalk on the shores of Whatcom Waterway.

Is Bellingham’s waterfront future ripe for a reset after past missteps?

Port’s struggles with Harcourt, ABC Recycling have critics yearning for return to community vision

Part six covers current development and what might be next.