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Shellfish, Beaches & Surface Waters


FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION: See Clean Water Advisories

Recreational Shellfish Safety

Jefferson County assists the State Department of Health in monitoring the safety of shellfish. In September, 2012, seven cases of paralytic shellfish poisoning occurred in Jefferson County when a party harvested and ate mussels in a closed area. This poisoning resulted in hospitalization for several members of the group. In July 2012, Jefferson County experienced its’ first-ever closure for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison (DSP). It’s important to remember that harmful algae blooms are showing up in places they have not been seen before, such as Hood Canal.

In addition, Washington State Department of Health has prepared a study of Vibrio parahaemolyticus including environmental monitoring and illness investigations.

Before Collecting Shellfish for Recreation

Other Shellfish Resources

Swimming Beaches

The BEACH Program is a joint program of the Washington Departments of Health and Ecology that monitors water quality at recreational swimming beaches throughout Puget Sound and coastal Washington. Jefferson County staff and other local organizations collect water samples at public swimming beaches in Jefferson County and submit them to the state lab for testing. The most recent results are posted at the above linked website or on this map.

Other swimming beach resources:  See Clean Water Advisories


Other Surface Waters

Lakes: See our Lake Advisories for information on how we monitor lakes in Jefferson County.

Rivers, Streams and Marine Waters: Jefferson County conducts a number of projects every year to monitor rivers and streams for fecal coliform and other water quality concerns, this information is provided to the Washington Department of Ecology (DoE) along with data collected by other organizations. As part of the Federal Clean Water Act, Washington Water Quality Assessments provide information on all water bodies in the State, including those that are polluted (included on the 303(d) list). This information can be found on the DoE’s Water Quality Assessment and 303(d) List, To find out more about current and past Water Quality monitoring efforts of Jefferson County Public Health, see Clean Water Projects.


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Jefferson County Jefferson County Public Health
615 Sheridan Street - Port Townsend, WA 98368
Community Health: 360.385.9400 | Environmental Health: 360.385.9444