Improved boat sewage management leads to shellfish area upgrades

The Washington State Department of Health has announced that portions of commercial shellfish areas around 20 Puget Sound marinas would no longer be classified as prohibited.

Improved sewage management has allowed DOH to remove shellfish harvest restrictions on nearly 700 acres of commercial shellfish beds. 

The reclassified marinas affected include the following:

  • Clallam County (67 acres impacted) – John Wayne 
  • Island County (5) – Sandy Hook
  • Jefferson County (144) – Cape George, Fisherman Harbor, Pleasant Harbor, Port Hudson, Port Townsend, and Quilcene
  • Kitsap County (228) – Blake Island, Brownsville, Kingston, Keyport, Liberty Bay, and Poulsbo
  • Mason County (43) – Hood Canal and Jarrell Cove
  • Pierce County (43) – Day Island
  • Thurston County (104) – Boston Harbor and Zittels
  • Whatcom County (27) – Birch Bay

Over the past 20 years, progress has been made to reduce the potential for sewage discharge from boats and this includes better waste-holding capacity in most boats, increased boat waste pump out stations, and the implementation of a No Discharge Zone throughout the Puget Sound. 

The improvements have led to better water quality, a lowered illness risk to people who eat shellfish, and greater protection of public health.