Don’t miss this Program on June 9th “What’s in our Waters?”


Find out current Whatcom County Water Quality an shellfish survey data. Including Lummi Island’s data!

For Current Lummi Island Water Quality
Data Go to : LI_04_11_WQsummary

Gerold Larson “Jerry”


As one of Jerry’s fans, We are saddened to hear of Jerry’s passing yesterday. He gave so much to our communities. He’s served on the board of the MRC shellfish committee. He was instrumental in starting clam surveys in Whatcom County and he conducted numerous clam surveys with us on Lummi Island. He will be missed by many people and our waters and sea life he so passionately cared about. Our prayers go with his family during this time.

No Clam digging: Biotoxin Levels in Shellfish are Extremely Dangerous in Whatcom County including Lummi Island

From Whatcom County Health Dept.:

Biotoxin Levels in Shellfish are Extremely Dangerous in Whatcom County

WHATCOM COUNTY – Marine biotoxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) have been detected at potentially lethal levels in recent shellfish samples collected from Drayton Harbor and Point Roberts. Samples from Chuckanut Bay, Squalicum Harbor, and Birch Bay have risen to dangerous levels as well. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed all of Whatcom County to the recreational harvest of molluscan shellfish. The public is warned that consumption of molluscan shellfish with such high toxin levels can result in severe illness or death.

The Whatcom County Health Department will continue to test local beaches and will notify the public when shellfish are safe to harvest again. Molluscan shellfish that are sold in permitted retail markets are harvested from locations that are sampled and tested at the time of harvest and are proven safe to eat. The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, geoducks and other species of molluscan shellfish. Crab is not included in the closure, but “crab butter” and crab entrails should be discarded, and only the meat should be eaten. PSP biotoxins are naturally occurring and are not destroyed by cooking or freezing.

PSP intoxication can be life-threatening. Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue, moving to the hands and feet, followed by difficulty breathing, and potentially death. If you experience these symptoms contact a health care provider. For extreme reactions call 911. People can become ill after eating Shellfish contaminated with the toxins produced by naturally occurring marine algae. In most cases the algae that contain the toxins cannot be seen, and must be detected using laboratory testing.

Therefore, recreational shellfish harvesters should check the DOH website at http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm or call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State.
Contact Person: Tom Kunesh
Environmental Health Supervisor
(360) 676-6724

Lummi Island Watershed Enhancement Committee has lots of fun things happening this April.

Waterstudy continues.

Stay tuned!

Lummi Island Stormwater runoff.

Here below is a letter from the Whatcom County Resources Shellfish subcommitte’s ProjectLummi Island resident letter-1

March 30, 2010

Dear Lummi Island Resident:

Re:  Marine Resources Committee Clam Enhancement Projects

The Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) was established in 1999 by the Whatcom County Council as a way for local citizens to participate and lead marine restoration and protection projects.  As part of the MRC’s clam enhancement work, we would like to engage you in an exciting pilot project that will be taking place in your neighborhood, and invite your participation.  The MRC plans to install two 3’x5’ clam tents along the eastern shoreline of Lummi Island.  One tent will be located just north of the ferry terminal on public tidelands, and one will be located on public tidelands near the end of Blizard Road.

Similar clam tents have been used successfully on the East Coast to enhance populations of softshell clams for both recreational and commercial harvest.  The goal of the MRC clam subcommittee is to enhance recreational opportunities for clam harvest along Whatcom County shorelines.  The design of these tents will consist of ¼” netting attached to the substrate with steel hooks in a 3’x5’ rectangle.  The netting will be slightly larger than the rectangle, and will have small floats underneath to allow it to be suspended at higher tides.  This non-rigid design is intended to reduce the likelihood of kayakers or other small boat users from running into the structure, and is intended to better absorb shock from floating debris or wood.  I have included an article describing various clam tent designs and information.  At low tide, these tents will be very low-profile and will only be noticeable by the small floats positioned beneath the netting.

This pilot project aims to take advantage of naturally-produced clam larvae of any species that float in the water column prior to settlement into suitable habitat.  This phase of the study will look at 1) the practicality of this clam tent design, and 2) the recruitment success of these tents.  If this pilot project proves successful, future clam tents will be considered for other locations.  These Lummi Island locations have been chosen for the pilot project as reasonably secluded locations with a lower chance of vandalism, and because there are known clam populations in the vicinity.  Assuming success, future tent locations will be determined at a later time.

The tents will be installed in early April and will be removed in late summer.  Beach Elementary School students will assist in pre-installation surveys to document what clams exist in the locations presently, and will also assist in future surveys to determine if clam recruitment was a success.

We are hoping you will be willing to notify us if you notice that one of the tents is damaged or needs attention.  Wanda Cucinotta, a Lummi Island resident and MRC clam subcommittee member, will check the tents weekly.  If you would be willing to notify us if you see anything amiss between her checks, it would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact me at 360-676-6876, or mroberts@co.whatcom.wa.us for more information about the MRC or clam tents in general, or call Wanda at 360-758-2272 or 360-220-3077 to notify her of any attention needed to the tents.

Sincerely,   Melissa Roberts

Whatcom County Public Works – Natural Resources

Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee

322 N. Commercial St., Ste. 110

Bellingham, WA  98225

Phone:   360-676-6876

Fax       360-738-2468

Website:            http://www.whatcom-mrc.whatcomcounty.org

Beach school kids help with clam survey

We (Wanda, Victoria Souze, Russ Thompson and others) did several clam surveys in August and September, as part of the biological assessment for the ‘ferry landing restoration – nearshore habitat assessment’ grant.  But perhaps the most fun was the one about two weeks ago when Terry Cook and Julie Hirsch spearheaded a “Beach School science field day ” with kids digging & checking out test holes along 2 ‘transects’ (parallel lines outward from the shore).

Wynne Lee, who helped as official recorder of the numbers and types of clams, worms,  type of seaweed and substrate of each hole, had her camera along and has posted some of those photos, along with a brief description of the event, on her blog Lummi Island Living.  Hope you’ll check it out.

We’ll try to post more photos here soon.