State of the Oyster Study volunteers help monitor bacterial contamination levels in edible shellfish collected from privately owned Washington state beaches in Hood Canal and throughout Puget Sound
Volunteers collect oyster and clam samples from their beaches at specific times during summer months. Washington Sea Grant arranges for laboratory testing of these samples, which are analyzed for the presence of harmful bacteria or for bacterial indicators of fecal contamination. (Volunteers must cover the lab fees.) Washington Sea Grant then helps participants interpret their test results and, if needed, works closely with them to identify and remedy the sources of observed contamination.
Through the years, State of the Oyster has has helped waterfront residents on more than 350 Washington state beaches learn what makes for safer oysters and clams and how to minimize fecal contamination in their waters.