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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.
Image of Budd Inlet at sundown

OLYMPIA – A marine biotoxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) has been detected at unsafe levels in shellfish in Budd Inlet in Thurston County.

As a result, the Washington State Department of Health and the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department have closed all of Budd Inlet to recreational shell fishing from inner Budd Inlet to Boston Harbor and the tip of Cooper Point. Shellfish sampled from Budd Inlet contained DSP biotoxin at levels of 19 micrograms per 100 grams, which is above the safety limit of 16 micrograms per 100 grams established by the Washington State Department of Health. 

Warning signs have been posted at public beaches alerting people not to collect shellfish due to the biotoxin closure.  Existing permanent swimming and shellfish harvest closures due to pollution in inner Budd Inlet and near wastewater treatment plant outfalls remain in effect.

DSP symptoms can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, with diarrhea being the most reported symptom. 

DSP biotoxins are produced by naturally occurring algae and can accumulate in shellfish, making the shellfish unsafe to eat. Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.  Shellfish harvested commercially that are available in stores and restaurants are tested for toxin prior to distribution and are safe to eat.


Media Contact: Renae Miller, Public Information Specialist - Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, (360)-463-0362

TPCHSS Contact: Stuart Whitford, R.S. Environmental Health Division – Water Quality, (360) 463-8323 or

Public Health and Social Services
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Questions and inquiries regarding News Release content should be directed to the Thurston County Public Information Officer:  

Meghan Porter


Anna Rhoads