I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Since 2002 the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm in the greater Olympia area has successfully been restoring clean water in an historic shellfish growing area while connecting community members there to the marine environment on a personal level. Derek King, who began as a volunteer with the farm and is now a full time program technician there, talks about the farm’s history.
KING: Basically it begins kind of in the waterbody and watershed, which is the Henderson Inlet and the Henderson Watershed - so that area in 2001 was very threatened. It had gone through a number of downgrades due to bacterial contamination - basically the septic systems, and pet waste and storm water were all kind of contributing to the bacterial contamination, which was making it so you couldn’t grow shellfish in that area.
For that reason King says the Shellfish Protection District was formed in 2002 to get stakeholders to the table.
KING: The group was formed with people from the ag industry, residents, commercial - trying to get everyone there, and we kind of formed out of that. Our non-profit is called Puget Sound Restoration Fund. We work with native species and habitat and water quality projects.
Tomorrow King will talk about how a community shellfish farm works, the educational outreach that is done with the farm, and the contributing partners, WSU, Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and Elliot’s Oyster House, that have helped make the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm the success story that it is.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.