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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 16, 2016
Contact:
Art Starry, Environmental Health Division Director, starrya@co.thurston.wa.us or at (360) 867-2587
Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Senior Environmental Health Specialist, venninj@co.thurston.wa.us or at (360) 867-2643

Biotoxin Closure in Budd Inlet Expands to Surrounding Areas
The biotoxin closure in Budd Inlet expanded to cover Boston Harbor and part of Squaxin Passage

OLYMPIA - The Budd Inlet closure due to a marine biotoxin that causes diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) has been expanded. The Washington Department of Health and the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department have closed all beaches to all species of shellfish in Squaxin Passage east from Steamboat Island along Carlyon Beach to Hunter Point, southeast to Cooper Point, east across Budd Inlet to Little Fish Trap, including Boston Harbor and Budd Inlet. Little Fish Trap is approximately halfway between Boston Harbor and Dickerson Point, and lies south of Briscoe Point.

Shellfish sampled from these areas contained DSP biotoxin at levels 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.

Symptoms from DSP can begin from 30 minutes to 12 hours after eating contaminated shellfish. It causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, with diarrhea being the most commonly reported symptom. Most symptoms subside within 72 hours.

The 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 toxins prior to distribution, and are safe to eat.

For more information about shellfish closures, call the Washington State Department of Health 24-hour Shellfish Safety Hotline: 1-800-562-5632, or visit the department's shellfish closure map: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/eh/maps/biotoxin/biotoxin.html

Additional information about DSP: http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/BiotoxinsIllnessPrevention/Biotoxins/DiarrheticShellfishPoisoning

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3