Portage Bay: [mostly] good news

On Wednesday last week there was a joint meeting of the county’s Portage Bay and Drayton Harbor shellfish advisory committees. In 2+ hours they covered lots of territory, but here are some highlights of particular interest:
* Vacancies! You can see the member list below, and the 4 empty chairs stand out pretty clearly. Do you have an interest yourself? (or a nomination?!!) Let us know.
* The ‘Fall Strategy‘ is led by the Whatcom Clean Water Program, which we support with our work. This has been mentioned in our meetings, and we’ll be talking more about it. The 8-page document represents a coordinated effort to avoid typical seasonal spikes in fecal counts in the Nooksack watershed by focusing attention among all stakeholders.
* PB closures: there is still hope for a spring opening for Portage Bay; WA Dept of Health should have a decision before December. There was obvious disappointment in the room that Health will not be doing extra fall sampling, which could yield helpful data to support a fall opening in 2019; stay tuned….
* ‘First Flush‘ sample results on the river included some puzzling & alarming numbers, particularly in mainstem upper reaches, emphasizing the need for seasonal precautions. More sampling will continue….
* Hurray! Tenmile creek now meets both water quality standards, according to the county’s comprehensive monthly reporting for October (pdf.) We have ‘known’ this for a while, but now it’s official! Credit to everyone doing the little things that make a difference.
* Save the Date:  for more cheers – at the annual Drayton Harbor shellfish celebration, Dec 14 at 4pm on the waterfront in Blaine. Dress warmly!


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