The Washington Shellfish Initiative is an agreement among federal and state governments, tribes and the shellfish industry to restore and expand Washington’s shellfish resources to promote clean-water industries and create family-wage jobs.
On Dec. 9, 2011, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco and Washington state Gov. Chris Gregoire presented the initiative. NOAA announced a $200,000 grant to help the state restore the native Olympia oyster (see the announcement here.) The state departments of Health and Ecology will also award $1 million to help local health carry out programs to identify, inspect and fix failing septic systems to keep pollution out of sensitive habitat areas.
A white paper discusses the importance of the initiative to the aquaculture industry, for tourism and for state residents. A one-page overview of the white paper is also being prepared as is the press release on the announcement. Below are links (go to top of links) to the participating agencies.
The Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda, the blueprint for action to restore and protect Puget Sound, has a goal for a net increase of 10,800 harvestable shellfish acres by 2020. The initiative fits in the Action Agenda’s priorities for the Sound.