Birch Bay on shellfish watch list
The state department of health (DOH) has identified Birch Bay as one of 20 threatened shellfish areas across the state, according to this year�s early warning system.
The system identifies areas that are on the verge of failing public health standards or when the water quality is clearly deteriorating. This is done so that problems can be addressed before shellfish harvesting is restricted, according to the state department of health.
The DOH lists runoff from farm animal waste, sewage systems and wildlife as pollution sources threatening the areas. �This is sad news for Puget Sound. We need to stop the pollution from getting into Puget Sound where shellfish resources are now being threatened,� said Brad Ack, chair of the Puget Sound Action Team, in a written release.
�This is a call to action for all those involved with protecting our valuable shellfish resources.�
Since 1997, three shellfish growing areas that had been listed as threatened have been completely closed due to pollution, including Drayton Harbor in Blaine.
�Almost every county that grows oysters or clams has at least one area, or part of an area, that is threatened with closure, said Bob Woolrich, growing area section manager of the DOH.
Washington is the second leading producer of oysters and calms in the nation and the leading producer of farmed oysters and clams, according to the DOH. For more information, log on to www.psat.wa.gov.