Shellfish Protection District

Thurston County has shellfish protection districts for Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach. Shellfish protection districts are areas where pollution threatens water quality in areas important to shellfish farming and harvesting. Citizens, organizations, tribes, and state and local governments work together in these areas to improve water quality and keep shellfish areas healthy.

Meetings   |    
Plan Documents, News & Information Sheets

Shellfish Protection District Stakeholder Advisory Committee

The Board of Thurston County Commissioners appoints a committee of stakeholders to advise them on topics related to the Shellfish Protection Districts, and to help implement water quality improvement activities. The committees for Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach have been combined into a single group.

Membership includes eleven (11) stakeholders who reside or work within the districts' boundaries. The stakeholders represent the following interests: commercial agriculture, shellfish growers, builders/developers, representatives of tribes, cities, city residents, and county residents.

The advisory committee meets every other month, beginning in January, on the third Tuesday, starting at 4:00 PM. Until further notice, meetings are being held virtually. Click here for meeting materials.

In December 2001, the Board of Thurston County Commissioners approved two ordinances creating the Henderson Inlet and the Nisqually Reach shellfish protection districts.

On March 26, 2002, the commissioners appointed a stakeholder group for each shellfish protection district. The groups were asked to craft recommendations on how to restore the quality of water in Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach to shellfishing standards. The stakeholder groups met regularly and submitted their water-quality cleanup plans to commissioners in 2003.

On February 14, 2012, the Board of County Commissioners and Board of Health adopted changes to Thurston County Sanitary Code and the Nisqually Reach Shellfish Protection District.  Click here for additional information.