Mystery Bay Management Plan (Buoys and Shellfish) Open House Set for Jan. 27

OLYMPIA – The Governor’s Office of Regulatory Assistance announces the draft Mystery Bay management plan is set for public review and input. An open house to present and discuss the draft plan is scheduled for 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM (doors open at 6:00 PM), Jan. 27, 2010, at Fort Flagler State Park. Residents and other interested parties are encouraged to attend, learn about the plan, ask questions, and provide comments.

The management plan is designed to keep Mystery Bay shellfish harvest beds open while accommodating other uses of the bay.

“We are hopeful that others interested in creating collaborative plans for managing water will use this as a model,” said Faith Lumsden, ORA director. “The plan accomplishes this while also protecting shellfish harvest and tribal treaty rights.”

In summer 2008, a large portion of Mystery Bay, located on the west shore of Marrowstone Island in Jefferson County, was closed to commercial shellfish harvest due to the number of boats in the bay and the risk of pollution to shellfish beds. The implications were serious as the shellfish industry represents a significant portion of Washington’s coastal economy as shellfish growers contribute $110 million annually to the region’s economy and provide thousands of family-wage jobs in coastal communities.

A group of stakeholders was led by ORA to draft a management plan to keep Mystery Bay open for shellfish harvest.  The group includes the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee and Departments of Community Development, Natural Resources and Community Health; Marrowstone Island Community Association; State Departments of Health, Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife, and State Parks; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association; Treaty Tribes; and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

To see the DRAFT the management plan, visit:

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