Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach Shellfish Protection District - General Information and Funding

General Information

Shellfish Protection District Name

Henderson Shellfish Protection District and Nisqually Shellfish Protection District




Henderson-Nisqually Shellfish Protection District Website

Henderson Watershed Protection Area – Septic System Operation & Maintenance Program

Nisqually Reach Watershed – Septic System Operation & Maintenance Program

The Connection Between Pet Waste and Water Quality

Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm

Other Links

County ordinance for controlling animal wastes - Article VI (PDF)

Geographic Boundaries

The SPDs include the entire watershed. Sub-areas of each SPD were later designated as marine recovery areas as authorized under RCW 70.118A to address the on-site sewage system (OSS) contributions to the pollution problems. Each property served by an OSS within the marine recovery areas is assessed a charge as authorized by RCW 90.72.070 to fund an enhanced operation and maintenance (O&M) program for OSS's.

Primary Point of Contact

Name: Allison Osterberg

Agency: Thurston County Resource Stewardship

Phone: 360-754-3355 x7011

Email: osterba@co.thurston.wa.us

Year and Reason Created

2001 - The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) downgraded 74 acres in the Nisqually growing area from Conditionally Approved to Restricted; downgraded 9 acres in the Henderson Inlet growing area from Conditionally Approved to Prohibited and 300 acres from Approved to Prohibited. Bacterial pollution has caused shellfish closures, so two SPDs were formed with the goal of reducing the amount of pollution.

Members and Stakeholders


County commissioners selected 13 members for each SPD. Members must work or live within SPD boundaries.


The SPD holds open meetings. State and local groups such as Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), Thurston County Conservation District (CD), and DOH regularly attend.

Funding Sources


Thurston County has received grants from DOH to supplement implementation of the Henderson marine recovery program, specifically the owner training classes, database development and compliance.

Agency Funds

A total of $146,000 a year (50% of the CD assessment) funds water quality improvement projects within the SPDs.

Taxes and fees

O&M is funded through RCW 90.72.070 funding authority. Owners of property served by OSSs within the marine recovery area boundary are assessed an annual charge collected through the property tax statement. The CD has an assessment on properties in the county. The portion assessed on properties inside the SPD are set aside to fund water quality improvement project in the Henderson and Nisqually SPDs. These projects are varied, and include funding for activities such as pollution identification, farm plans and cost share, incentives such as septic riser rebates, student education, and the community shellfish farm.

Loans (including Craft3)


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