Since 1962, Lake Whatcom's water quality has been monitored by staff from Whatcom County, the City of Bellingham, and Western Washington University's Institute for Watershed Studies. In recent decades, the water quality in Lake Whatcom has been deteriorating due to increased phosphorus inputs that are resulting in algal blooms and depleted oxygen levels. In 1998, Lake Whatcom was placed on Washington's list of polluted waters because it no longer met the state's dissolved oxygen level requirements. Today, the City, County, and Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District are working together with the Washington State Department of Ecology to create a plan to meet water quality standards. In the meantime, Lake Whatcom is also vulnerable to many additional threats.