Shellfish Protection District Name
Burley Lagoon, Filucy Bay, Rocky Bay Shellfish Protection Districts (SPDs) / Pierce County Pollution Identification and Correction (PIC) Program
Pierce and Kitsap
Websites and Links
Primary Point of Contact
Name: Barbara Ann Smolko
Agency: Pierce County Surface Water Management (SWM)
Year Created and Reason
Burley Lagoon: In 1999, 230 acres of shellfish beds were downgraded from Approved to Restricted.
Filucy Bay: In 2002, 7 acres of shellfish beds were downgraded from Conditionally Approved to Prohibited in July 2001.
Rocky Bay: In 1995, 30 acres of shellfish beds were downgraded from Approved to Prohibited.
Members and Stakeholders
The Pollution Control Plan adopted by the Pierce County Council assigned tasks to agencies. The Burley Lagoon SPD and the Rocky Bay SPD include portions of both Pierce County and Kitsap County and the counties sometimes share resources to improve water quality. SWM leads the SPDs, but Kitsap County is involved. The Filucy Bay SPD is completely in Pierce County.
The Pierce County Shellfish Partners team was initially formed in 2006 by SWM and included Pierce Conservation District (PCD) and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD). The partnership has expanded over the years to include numerous other agencies and organizations.
A variety of non-appointed members are included in the Pierce County Shellfish Partners team, including Taylor Shellfish, citizens' community groups (Friends of Burley Lagoon), and Kitsap Surface and Stormwater Management (SWM).
Various grants have been utilized to build and refine the Pierce County Shellfish Partners effort, including centennial grants from Ecology. Pierce County also can provide grants for OSS repairs if there is a financial need and repairs would provide a significant water quality benefit. Community Connections assesses the financial need of a property owner and makes a recommendation to the County as to whether funding should be in the form of a grant, grant and loan combination, or a loan. Recently the County added a clause to the grant funding agreement that if the property is sold within three years, any grant has to be repaid.
Taxes and Fees
For more than a dozen years, stormwater utility fees have been the principal source of funds for the SPDs. The Pierce County Shellfish Partners program is not funded by revenue generated as a SPD because Washington State law prohibits the funding of both a stormwater utility and a SPD. This is a funding problem that the County has raised with the State Department of Health, but there is no indication that this will be rectified. As costs continue to rise to meet NPDES stormwater permit requirements, discretionary actions, such as the Pierce County Shellfish Partners, become increasingly at risk for funding.
Loans (including Craft3)
SWM manages the septic repair grant and loan program. Initially supported through a State Revolving Fund loan financially assured by SWM, loan repayments are now used to fund ongoing repairs, although at a reduced rate. Pierce Community Connections administers the loans, with SWM authorizing execution and TPCHD providing technical assistance. Pierce County has informed DOH, Ecology, and PSP of the need for an influx of $3,000,000 to achieve full capitalization of its grant and loan program. Kitsap County also has a Craft3 loan program.