The mission of the Shellfish Program is to prevent illness in people who eat Washington-grown molluscan shellfish, which are shellfish that have hinged shells such as clams, mussels, and oysters. Our goal is ensuring shellfish that make it to the commercial market are safe to eat, and recreational shellfishers have current information about which beaches are safe to harvest. To accomplish this, we:
- Monitor shellfish for biotoxins, pathogens, and other contaminants.
- Regularly test water quality in shellfish growing areas and check shorelines and surrounding areas for pollution sources.
- Classify growing areas based on water quality and current and potential pollution sources.
- Close shellfish areas when spills, stormwater runoff, or other events compromise water quality.
- License and inspect companies that harvest and sell shellfish commercially, ensuring they follow strict state and federal sanitation standards.
- Provide recreational harvesters with up-to-date information through the internet, Facebook, and a toll-free hotline on which beaches are open and safe for shellfishing.
About Our Programs
Biotoxins and Illness Prevention Program
Commercial Shellfish Licensing Program
Growing Area Program
Recreational Shellfish Program
EPA National Estuary Program Grants for Puget Sound
Shellfish Program Contacts
Subscribe to Our Email Lists
Email Updates: Subscribe to Commercial Shellfish Growing Area Management Information
Email Updates: Subscribe to Commercial Shellfish Licensing and Certification Information
Email Updates: Subscribe to Vibrio Information for Shellfish Companies