Program overview

The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) Shellfish Program uses a targeted approach to invest in best management practices (BMPs) voluntarily installed by conservation districts and landowners that build cumulative results for shellfish recovery. Priority is given to “project clusters” within a watershed or stream reach where there’s a water quality concern.

Why this program matters

Pollutants flowing into Puget Sound and the Pacific coast periodically cause shellfish growing areas to close. These closures threaten our state’s shellfish industry – which generates an estimated 2,700 jobs and over $70 million in labor income per year – and our state obligation to provide shellfish for tribal harvest.

The Shellfish Program helps fund voluntary, watershed-based efforts that are proven-effective at improving water quality and re-opening shellfish growing areas. The program also supports Governor Inslee’s Shellfish Initiative and the Puget Sound Action Agenda strategic initiative to recover shellfish beds.

Program accomplishments
How it works

Conservation districts with a service area that includes watersheds or stream reaches that flow into shellfish growing areas are eligible for Shellfish Program funding. View the full program guidelines (for conservation districts).

More information
  • For general questions about the Shellfish Program, please contact Shana Joy, 360.480.2078
  • For conservation districts who have questions about Shellfish Program funding, please contact Karla Heinitz, 360.407.6212

Click image below to view fiscal year 2017 Shellfish Program accomplishments:

Shellfish accomplishments FY17
Quick facts about the Shellfish Program:
  • Program funds manure management, livestock exclusion, stream restoration, and other projects that improve water quality in shellfish areas.
  • Since 2013, conservation districts have used SCC Shellfish Program funding to assist landowners with over 300 projects that benefit shellfish.
  • In fiscal year 2017 alone, projects funded by the Shellfish Program improved over 5,932 acres of land and habitat.

“The two years of planning, preparation, tear down, rebuilding, and completion of the heavy use area was a wonderful experience… Working together makes our creeks cleaner, our environment healthier, and the planet better for generations to come.”

– Jeff Stokes, Kitsap County farmer on his experience working with Kitsap Conservation District to install best management practices