Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Softening Borders through Information Exchange: Monitoring and Indicator- Efforts Within and Across Boundaries in the Salish Sea

Description

Washington State is the leading producer of farmed shellfish in the United States, contributing 270 million dollars to the region’s economy and creating over 3,200 jobs. These filter feeders can absorb bacteria, viruses and other contaminants that are in the water. In poor conditions, contaminants can accumulate to the point where the shellfish are unsafe to eat. The Shellfish Growing Area Section (Office of Environmental Health and Safety) at Washington State Department of Health continually monitors and analyzes the potential health impact of over 100 commercial shellfish growing areas, across 300,000 acres of Washington marine waters. For over 25 years they have been collecting fecal coliform bacteria counts from about 1,700 stations between 6 and 12 times a year. Through collaboration with local government and non-government entities, continuous monitoring allows the department to ensure shellfish are safe to eat, and provide early warnings of water quality impairment. The Water Quality Restoration Program engages with external stakeholders and partners to develop and evaluate ongoing marine pollution identification and correction programs in areas where fluctuating fecal coliform bacteria counts put shellfish harvest beds at risk. Trend analysis is important for ongoing evaluation of program success and evaluating the impacts of changing environmental conditions. This presentation will highlight current efforts to analyze water quality data and develop long-term trends in the interest of identifying historic actions resulting in improving or declining marine water quality. It will discuss challenges in discerning accurate trends through variable water quality data and confounding environmental conditions. Lastly, it will report preliminary results and identified actions and activities that have had significant impacts on water quality in shellfish beds.

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Fecal Colifrom Indicator Trends in the Puget Sound: Rain or Restoration?

2016SSEC

Washington State is the leading producer of farmed shellfish in the United States, contributing 270 million dollars to the region’s economy and creating over 3,200 jobs. These filter feeders can absorb bacteria, viruses and other contaminants that are in the water. In poor conditions, contaminants can accumulate to the point where the shellfish are unsafe to eat. The Shellfish Growing Area Section (Office of Environmental Health and Safety) at Washington State Department of Health continually monitors and analyzes the potential health impact of over 100 commercial shellfish growing areas, across 300,000 acres of Washington marine waters. For over 25 years they have been collecting fecal coliform bacteria counts from about 1,700 stations between 6 and 12 times a year. Through collaboration with local government and non-government entities, continuous monitoring allows the department to ensure shellfish are safe to eat, and provide early warnings of water quality impairment. The Water Quality Restoration Program engages with external stakeholders and partners to develop and evaluate ongoing marine pollution identification and correction programs in areas where fluctuating fecal coliform bacteria counts put shellfish harvest beds at risk. Trend analysis is important for ongoing evaluation of program success and evaluating the impacts of changing environmental conditions. This presentation will highlight current efforts to analyze water quality data and develop long-term trends in the interest of identifying historic actions resulting in improving or declining marine water quality. It will discuss challenges in discerning accurate trends through variable water quality data and confounding environmental conditions. Lastly, it will report preliminary results and identified actions and activities that have had significant impacts on water quality in shellfish beds.