Since the late 1990s, high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in Drayton Harbor forced shellfish harvest closures for all or part of each year. Fecal coliform bacteria in water are an indicator for pathogens, or disease-causing organisms coming from failing septic systems, pets, livestock and wildlife.
This month, 810 acres of shellfish beds in the harbor were reopened to year-round harvest. Drayton Harbor watershed residents can be proud of this accomplishment – it’s a true example of a community coming together to address some really tough water quality issues.
Whatcom Conservation District was honored with an Environmental Excellence Award from Dept of Ecology for services to the agricultural community in support of water quality improvements in Drayton Harbor.
The Environmental Excellence Award is the Department of Ecology's highest award for recognizing environmental excellence in the state of Washington. The department issues the award to individuals, businesses, and organizations that have shown leadership, innovation, or extraordinary service in protecting, improving, or cleaning up the environment. The ideal candidate has done something out of the ordinary, above and beyond normal expectations, on behalf of Washington’s environment.
Our staff is passionate about helping our neighbors and protecting resources. We are proud of all of the efforts the agricultural community has put forth to enhance water quality and glad we could support with education and technical assistance.