Watershed News – from outside the watershed

Image result for birds eye view"What can we learn from outside the Tenmile Creek watershed that will help us understand things closer to home? A ‘bird’s eye’ view, so to speak. Well there are no great revelations here, but it’s all informative nevertheless.

First, some good news!
Drayton Harbor shellfish harvest upgrade:

Effective Oct 22, a new area of 765 acres is approved for commercial shellfish harvest in Drayton Harbor! This brings the total to more than 1500 acres, after marine water sampling, extended over time, indicated sustained improvement.  The reclassification of the shellfish growing area reflects the Drayton Harbor watershed community’s commitment to finding & fixing preventable sources of human & animal bacteria pollution. So how we mark such important milestones?

Shellebration of course!

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Join the community and celebrate the three-year anniversary of reopened shellfish harvesting in Drayton Harbor:
Friday, Dec 13th, 4 to 6:00 p.m. at the H Street Plaza located in downtown Blaine, right next to Drayton Harbor Oysters – so stay and have some more!
This free event will include refreshments, oyster samples courtesy of the Drayton Harbor Oysters, and the presentation of community awards at 4:30 p.m.
We will be outdoors (!!) so be sure and bring all the layers you need!

Finally, a look at Nooksack River
water quality issues, watershed-wide.

This link displays the monthly E-news from Whatcom County PIC Program (Pollution, Identification & Correction). Our monthly water quality sampling is part of this program. You can register here to receive this monthly e-news by email.
Embedded in this month’s issue is a good water quality summary of the Portage Bay shellfish beds, a focus for the PIC Program and our work. E.g. this image:This map shows routinely-monitored sample points in the shellfish beds, which lie just south of the Nooksack River estuary, where fresh water flows into Bellingham Bay. Colored dots summarize fecal bacteria sample results for the fall period (Oct-Dec) for the last 5 years. Red indicates sample points that have exceeded the 90th-percentile water quality standard for human consumption of harvested shellfish. (This standard tracks the ‘spikes’ in high bacteria levels – different than the overall averages.) These high bacteria levels continue to keep Portage Bay beds closed to harvesting during the fall period – all of which explains the emphasis and extra scrutiny throughout the lowland Nooksack watershed during this time!
There is also a monthly data summary for the Nooksack basin,
which you can download here.

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