Washington's shellfish don't only give delicious delights, they provide jobs central to our economy. They also support healthy nature, providing important ecosystem services like filtering water and creating habitats.
Side by side with businesses, communities, public and private sectors, we're restoring the strength of Washington's shellfish, in native ecosystems and on sustainable farms. As we undertake these efforts, science and technology are our springboards. Our work in Washington is a first step to understanding how different types of aquaculture function and how they may accelerate ecosystem recovery.
Our changing climate also poses new threats to shellfish, particularly with rising acidity in the ocean. We are proud to raise our voice with the Shellfish Growers’ Climate Coalition, which calls for attention to the impacts of climate change on nature and people.
Sustainable aquaculture for nature and people
From tribal members who have harvested shellfish for centuries to multi-generational family farms and recreational harvesters, shellfish are a way of life in Washington. Our wildlife, too, depends on the estuaries where they grow: highly productive and complex ecosystems featuring saltmarshes, mudflats, eelgrass meadows and kelp beds.
If we can understand how organisms use these ecosystems on shellfish farms compared to natural habitats, we can evolve aquaculture practices for sustainable shellfish that ensures the health of our natural world and our economy.
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Hama Hama Company
Taylor Shellfish Farms
Beagle Personal Farm
Drayton Harbor Oyster Company