The Ostrea lurida is one step closer to becoming the official oyster of Washington state.
The small oyster would earn the designation under Senate Bill 6145, sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond. The bill cleared the full Senate on Thursday and now goes to the state House for consideration.
Ostrea lurida, sometimes called the Native or Olympia oyster, is a species native to Pacific Northwest waters and a popular component of Washington’s $270 million shellfish industry. The inspiration for the bill came from Claire Thompson, a student at Olympia’s Nova Middle School. Thompson asked Hatfield to propose the bill as part of a school project and to bring attention to ongoing threats to the state’s waters.
“I’m excited to see this bill move through the process. It’s an opportunity to shed light on an industry vital to our state’s economy and culture,” Hatfield said. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to share a lesson in civics with a young student in our state.”