OLYMPIA ¾ About 10 percent of Washington’s commercial shellfish growing areas are threatened with closure this year because of pollution, a dramatic drop from previous years. The Department of Health is closing part of one area.
“We’ve seen improvement in water quality in many shellfish growing areas over the past year,” said Bob Woolrich, growing area manager for the agency. “Nevertheless, in 10 shellfish growing areas, the livelihoods of shellfish farmers are threatened by pollution closures.”
Sixteen growing areas were listed as threatened areas in 2009. The 10 areas listed this year is among the lowest since the department began its annual listing in 1997. A portion of Burley Lagoon in Pierce County is being closed because of poor marine water quality.