Pollution Threatening Commercial Shellfish Grow Areas

Recently, the agency downgraded more than 4,000 acres in the Samish Bay shellfish growing area in Skagit County. The Puget Sound Partnership, other federal and state agencies including the Department of Health, tribes, local organizations and agriculture groups (www.psp.wa.gov/pressreleases/051711_samish.php) are addressing pollution sources in the watershed to correct conditions that caused the downgrade.

The state health department’s Office of Shellfish and Water Protection uses national standards to classify all commercial shellfish harvesting areas in Washington. Information about the status of shellfish harvesting areas is posted on the agency website (www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/grow.htm). A map (www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/Pubs/gareports/threatareas.pdf) of the 2011 threatened areas is also available online.

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