Bellingham is the county seat of Whatcom County, Washington. It is situated on Bellingham Bay, which is protected by Lummi Island, Portage Island, and the Lummi Peninsula, and opens onto the Strait of Georgia. It lies west of Mount Baker and Lake Whatcom (from which it gets its drinking water), north of the Chuckanut Mountains and Skagit Valley, and Whatcom Creek runs through the center of the city. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 67,171.
The tongue in cheek nickname of Bellingham is the "City of Subdued Excitement." A local politician called Bellingham this in seriousness, and the local alternative press and alternative culture has been using this nickname ever since.
The current boundaries of the city have grown to add the former cities of Fairhaven (now home to the southern terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway System), New Whatcom, and several others. Bellingham is also home to Western Washington University.
The Bellingham International Airport (http://www.portofbellingham.com/airport/default.htm) serves regularly scheduled commuter flights to and from Seattle and, more recently, flights to Las Vegas, Nevada. As of August, 2004, the airport is home of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's first Air and Marine Operations Center (http://www.ice.gov/graphics/amo/), to assist with border surveillance.
Web Sites and Links
Bellingham Whatcom Economic Development CouncilBackground, economy and industry, operating costs, and living conditions.
City of BellinghamLocal government, business resources, libraries, museums, tourism, social services, and transportation.
Port of BellinghamA year-round marine shipping facility linked to road, rail, sea, and sky - specializing in break bulk cargoes.