Out this past week to get some clams. First time in many years. Last outings were in the Oak Bay area, where I had a couple favorite spots that were healthy and had an abundant crop of clams.

This past week-

Grays Harbor County

Washington Coast

Good Morning

Around Low Tide

I lived for several years in an area that featured year-round recreational shellfish closures due to sewage treatment outfalls.

Summer 2021 update:

The text “This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.” has been removed by WDFW for beaches at Coupeville, the north side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing and Oak Harbor.

In its place:

“Health status: Closed by Biotoxin and Pollution”

Sewage treatment plant outfall has been changed to pollution. Biotoxin is a seasonal status.

Several Island County beaches remain closed all year for recreational shellfish harvest.

A year-round closure seems significant, but the WA State Dept. of Health does not provide specific info on why each beach is closed. The word pollution is as close as we get to understanding what is going on.

View the closed beach list here.

The WA State Dept. of Health once made more of an effort to tell the story of why a beach was closed by posting red signs at the beach for all to see.

Earlier this year, a sign remained posted at Coupeville and Monroe Landing warning of a sewage drain pipe.

Image above:


Image above:

North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

Are the two signs above still in place?

Why was the text changed on the WDFW pages?

Has anyone ever seen the Puget Sound area press ask questions about Whidbey water quality impacted by sewage treatment plant outfalls?

Has anyone ever seen any government agency, elected official or volunteer organization seeking answers related to one or more sewage treatment plants sending unsafe product into the waters near Whidbey Island?

Background and beach links here:

Make Sure Beaches Aren’t Closed Because of Biotoxins?

Local Waters And The Puget Sound Area Press


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Photo at top of page:

Jefferson County clams