Department of Ecology schedules water quality study in Drayton Harbor

Published on Wed, Dec 4, 2013
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Seeing red? You’re not alone.

Midday on Tuesday, December 10, the Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will pour red dye into the mouth of Dakota Creek where it drains into Drayton Harbor. 

The dye may be visible for up to an hour.

“It’s completely harmless and nothing to be alarmed about,” said Dustin Terpening of the DOE. “There is no need for people to call the DOE or the police. It’s all part of a study.” 

The DOH is studying the water circulation pattern in and around the harbor, Terpening said. Scientists will use monitoring equipment to help track the movement of the dye even after it’s no longer visible.

The harbor is home to commercial, tribal and recreational shellfishing. The health of the shellfish, and ultimately the health of people who eat shellfish, are threatened by contamination that runs downstream and empties into the harbor.