Priorities for 2018-2022 focus on accelerating progress toward the Shellfish Beds Vital Sign.
There are approximately 225,000 acres of classified commercial and recreational shellfish beds around Puget Sound. However, an estimated 16 percent are closed due to pollution, most of which comes from fecal bacterial from humans, livestock, and pets. The 10,800-acre target underscores the need to restore and upgrade areas affected by fecal pollution while also protecting those areas that are currently open for harvest. Fecal bacteria pollution is a major barrier to achieving the Shellfish Bed Vital Sign target. Where applicable, project proposals should identify specific growing areas and an approximate number of acres affected. Proponents may be interested in the following resource “Beyond 2020 Restoration Table” provided by the Department of Health’s Shellfish Program.
The Regional Priorities and Regional Priority approaches covered by this focus area include strategies intended to reduce or prevent fecal coliform bacterial pollution of shellfish beds, as well as strategies that are more broadly important to shellfish recovery but either indirectly or not related to fecal coliform pollution and the acreage target. In keeping with that distinction, approaches SHELL1.1 through 1.11 correspond with what was previously identified as 2016-2018 Action Agenda Tier One sub-strategies. The remaining approaches (1.12-1.16) were nearly all previously identified as 2016 Action Agenda Tier Two sub-strategies. They do not directly correspond to the Regional Priority approaches described in the Shellfish Bed Implementation Strategy, but are recognized as important strategies for shellfish recovery more broadly. Near Term Actions (NTA) were solicited primarily for those approaches that emphasize outcomes related to the overarching Regional Priorities. Any project put forward to address approaches 1.12-1.16 was also required to demonstrate a linkage or alignment to an approach in 1.1-1.11.
For more information about Shellfish Beds priorities in the Action Agenda, contact Clara Hard, Shellfish Strategic Initiative Lead at the Washington State Department of Health.