Tackling Pollution & Improving Water Quality
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Before 2002 the Henderson Inlet and Watershed, an historic shellfish growing area, had become threatened by bacterial contamination from septic systems, storm water and pet waste, making it inhospitable to shellfish growing. Derek King, with the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm and the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, says that through collaborative efforts of local stakeholders and partners, such as WSU and the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, 340 acres of the Henderson Inlet and Watershed have been upgraded to an Approved commercial shellfish growing area once again. One of the most successful efforts has been the community work parties.
KING: Once a month on a Saturday people actually come out and partake in part of the work of operating this community shellfish farm. A lot of that is sorting product, the maintenance of the seed, the maintenance of the products about to get harvested, the harvesting. Normally a commercial farm would have a bunch of employees - we rely on the community for that participation and for that work.
King says the farm also provides a great infrastructure for education.
KING : We partner with educations groups such as South Sound Green and its quality education project and its quality nature center. We get busloads of kids out to the farm for near shore education - to do a little bit of work, and bird watching and water quality stations.
The success of the farm and improving water quality has been a full team effort - from the city installing storm water treatment plants and initiating pet waste campaigns and mandatory septic and maintenance plans for those residing in the watershed - to the local residents and businesses that volunteer their time and efforts in improving water quality.
For more information about the Puget Sound Restoration Fund and the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm visit restorationfund.org.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.