Health of harbor depends on you

Published on Wed, Aug 12, 2009 by Geoff Menzies, Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm Manager

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The Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF) and the Community Oyster Farm have played an important role in helping to restore water quality and oyster farming in Drayton Harbor since 2001.

Unfortunately, the Washington State Department of Health has recently determined that it is unsafe to harvest and consume shellfish from Drayton Harbor during the wet season (November through February) due to runoff of bacterial pollution from livestock and human waste.

As a result, Drayton Harbor will be entirely closed to oyster harvest during this period beginning this fall.
However, it is safe under most conditions to eat oysters from the Community Oyster Farm site that are harvested from March through mid-June or thereabouts.

The fund feels that it is important to maintain a presence of oyster farming in Drayton Harbor during this period in order to support new and ongoing efforts to control pollution problems, but we need your help. Having completed many seasons of direct oyster sales on the docks in Blaine and local sales to seafood retailers and restaurants in Whatcom County, we hope to form a Community Supported Aquaculture (CSA) operation. CSAs have been used for small-scale agriculture for many years. The concept is that shareholders (oyster lovers) invest upfront in the farm through payment to the fund.

Each investor gets a return during the harvest season in the form of fresh Drayton Harbor yearling oysters, equal to their level of investment. For example, if you invest $200, you will receive 25 dozen oysters during this time period. Investors will order online and we will have them bagged and tagged for you at the dock in Blaine on a weekly basis. If you are interested in becoming a shareholder supporting this effort and receiving Drayton oysters on a regular basis in the spring for the next three years, let me know by Sunday, August 16.

We envision a minimum shareholder entry level of $100/ year ranging up to $500/ year. We are just accepting pledges right now, not payments. We need a minimum amount of pledges in order to support the expenses to operate for this three-month long period. For more information, visit www.restorationfund.org

Please consider joining the growing ranks of Drayton Harbor oyster lovers and help to keep oyster farming and clean water a thing of the future, and not just a thing of the past. Call or email me today if you need additional information or would like to invest at 384-9135 or geoffmenzies@comcast.net.  The return on this investment is delicious.