What is a Shellfish
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 Portage Bay Shellfish Protection District was formed in 1998 by the Whatcom County Council in response to DOH's closure of shellfish growing areas due to water quality degradation. The district encompasses the Nooksack River watershed.
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 1998, an Initial Closure Response Strategy was developed to address point and non-point sources of bacteria in the Nooksack River watershed. The strategy identified 33 initial actions described under the following six objectives:
- Control Agricultural Sources
- Control Stormwater Sources
- Control STP and OSS Sources
- Monitor Water Quality
- Establish Education/Outreach Program
- Establish Funding District and Program
Last updated 04/18/13