Improved boat sewage management has resulted in upgrades to shellfish harvesting areas around Kitsap County, including Kingston, Keyport and Poulsbo.
The Washington State Department of Health announced Aug. 30 that portions of commercial shellfish areas around 20 Puget Sound marinas would no longer be classified as prohibited, following improvements to sewage management. The improvement will affect 700 acres of previously restricted commercial shellfish beds.
According to Liz Coleman with the DOH’s Public Health Office, the upgrades should be reflected on the Department of Health’s interactive shellfish map online. Restrictions, Coleman said, may remain in place for other reasons in certain areas.
Reclassified marinas include:
- Kitsap County (228 acres affected) – Blake Island, Brownsville, Kingston, Keyport, Liberty Bay and Poulsbo
- Clallam County (67 acres affected) – John Wayne
- Island County (5 acres affected) – Sandy Hook
- Jefferson County (144 acres affected) – Cape George, Fisherman Harbor, Pleasant Harbor, Port Hudson, Port Townsend and Quilcene
- Mason County (43 acres affected) – Hood Canal and Jarrell Cove
- Pierce County (43 acres affected) – Day Island
- Thurston County (104 acres affected) – Boston Harbor and Zittels
- Whatcom County (27 acres affected) – Birch Bay
Over the last two decades, improvements in waste-holding capacity in most boats, increased boat waste pump-out stations and the implementation of a “No Discharge Zone” throughout the Puget Sound has resulted in a reduction in the potential for sewage discharge. In addition to upgrading the condition of commercial shellfish zones, improvements to water quality has also resulted from increased discharge prevention measures.