Lift on harvesting restrictions prompts a shell-ebration

By Stefanie Donahue

Following the recent announcement to lift shellfish harvesting restrictions on 810 acres of Drayton Harbor, a multitude of local and statewide advocates are taking a moment to celebrate.


Photo courtesy of Whatcom County Public Works.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, December 16, members of the public are invited to take part in a “shell-ebration” hosted to honor the more than two decades of work by groups throughout the city, county and state to improve water quality in Drayton Harbor. Several will be in attendance to speak at the event and discuss the history of the effort, which is still ongoing.

Starting in the mid-1990s, high levels of fecal coliform pollution plagued the water and spurred closures throughout the harbor. Since then, several have come together to improve water quality and restore harvesting access.

Efforts led to examination of on-site septic systems, management of nearby livestock waste and outreach to boat owners about direct discharge.

Several were pleased to receive the announcement from the Washington State Department of Health in early December after tests revealed noticeable improvements to water quality as a result of their actions.

The event will take place at Drayton Harbor Oyster Company, located at 677 Peace Portal Drive.

Tents and heaters will be set up outside for overflow, but the public is encouraged to dress for cold weather as a precaution.

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