Drayton Harbor threatened, DOH says

Published on Thu, May 15, 2008 by ara Nelson

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Drayton Harbor threatened, DOH says

By Tara Nelson

Drayton Harbor is one of 17 shellfish areas considered threatened as a result of continuing development and fecal coliform contamination according to a new report by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).

Although parts of the harbor remain open to shellfish harvesting, state health officials have closed areas along the east, south and west, as well as the “mouth” of the harbor.

Department spokesperson Bob Ulrich said the classification system is part of the DOH’s “Early Warning System” that gathers random water quality samples and is intended to give residents a “heads-up” on whether more intensive corrective action is needed.

Ulrich said much of the problem is caused by increased development around the harbor along with poor drainage patterns from California and Dakota Creeks, the waters from which tend to carry bovine and human microbes downstream.

“It’s a fairly enclosed bay and there’s not a lot of flushing with ocean water,” he said. “As a result, if bacteria enters the bay, it doesn’t necessarily escape.”

The full report is available at www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/growreports.htm.