is a Shellfish Protection District?
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 90.72 requires that the county legislative authority create a shellfish protection district within 180 days after the State DOH closes or downgrades a shellfish growing area due to degradation of water quality as a result of pollution. The purpose of establishing a Shellfish Protection District is to create a forum to address point and non-point sources of pollution that may be affecting water quality over the shellfish beds and develop a strategy to restore the area for shellfish harvesting.
The Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District was formed in 1995 by the
Whatcom County Council
in response to DOH's closure of shellfish growing areas due to water quality degradation.
encompasses the entire Drayton Harbor watershed, which
drains approximately 35,102 acres, primarily from the Dakota and
An advisory committee, consisting of eleven members, was established to advise the County Council on activites to improve water quality and reopen the shellfish growing areas.
Following the establishment of the district in 1995, an Initial Closure Response Strategy was developed to address point and non-point sources of bacteria in the Drayton Harbor watershed. The strategy identified 32 initial actions divided into the following categories:
- On-Site Septic Systems
- Municipal Sewer Systems
- Agricultural Practices
- Stormwater Runoff
- Boats and Marinas
An updated Shellfish Recovery Plan was created in 2007 to summarize actions that had been taken and recommendations for continued efforts.