Menzies earns hero title for defense of local water quality

Published on Thu, Apr 11, 2002 by Jack Kintner

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Menzies earns hero title for defense of local water quality

By Jack Kintner

Last week Geoff Menzies, Drayton Harbor’s last oyster farmer and the loudest voice urging harbor cleanup, was honored by the county for his work trying to protect and restore shellfish growing areas.

In a ceremony held April 3 in the lobby of the county courthouse in Bellingham, Menzies was one of three people named public health heroes by Whatcom County Health and Human Service. Also named were bicycle advocate Scott Thompson and John Tilley of the Lummi Tribal Health Center.

Menzies, 48, has been involved with shellfish restoration since 1995. He serves as staff for the Drayton Harbor volunteer shoreline monitoring program and community oyster farm. As president of the Drayton Harbor shellfish protection district he also works with an international water quality cooperative effort, Shared Waters, that involves representatives from tribal, county, state, provincial and municipal bodies on both sides of the border.
In accepting the award, Menzies spoke of the community oyster farm project that has planted two acres of oysters for commercial harvest in 2004, water conditions permitting. “I want everyone out for our first annual “Shuckin’ on the Spit” shellfish festival,” he said. “We’ll celebrate the harvest of the sea and help raise funds toward restoring Drayton Harbor and harvesting shellfish in May 2004,” Menzies said.

The May 4 festival, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m., costs $15 and includes a lavish seafood dinner featuring many different kinds of local shellfish, crab, salmon and halibut, live music, children’s activities and presentations by both the Semiahmoo and Lummi Nations. Children under 10 are admitted free..

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