Clean Water

Focusing on the Samish

The Clean Samish and Pollution Identification and Correction Program (PIC)
Clean Samish Focus Areas Map

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samish logoSkagit County has abundant resources along its marine shorelines that rely on clean water. One of the primary goals of Skagit County's Clean Water Program (CWP) is to ensure the waters are free of pollution. In recent years, however, the Samish Basin has suffered severe fecal coliform pollution issues.

Bacteria in the Samish River, other streams, and the bay, often reach levels too high for safe shellfish harvest and recreation. In addition, farmers are worried about the water quality and the need to provide consumers the assurance that their food products are safe. These problems have attracted regional attention and are now the focus of the Clean Samish Initiative (CSI).

The CSI is a joint partnership effort involving Skagit County, the State Departments of Ecology and Health, the Skagit Conservation District, the Skagit Conservation Education Alliance, the Samish Tribe, the Western Washington Agricultural Association, the Washington State Dairy Federation, EPA, and Taylor Shellfish, among others. The CSI's goal is to achieve both short and long-term pollution reductions in the Samish Basin.

2015 Clean Samish
Winter Report

Environmental Canine Services
Human Sewage Detection Report
Officials tour Samish watershed, note progress and next steps

Harvesting was suspended at the farm in the spring because of high freshwater flows and fecal coliform levels from the Samish River and again in the late summer because of elevated shellfish toxins in Samish Bay. [more]

Governor’s office and Skagit County highlight progress of the Clean Samish Initiative
October 09, 2014

Local effort plays key role in meeting governor’s statewide goal to grow shellfish industry and reduce pollution [more]

Sewage-sniffing dog finds trouble in the Samish watershed
October 09, 2014

Plastic buckets, murky water, action: a terrier-cattle dog mix in a neon yellow harness took off through the a parking lot behind the Skagit County offices Wednesday [more]

While these are all potential sources, if managed and/or practiced appropriately with water quality protections in place, they do not have to pose a threat to water quality. Learn more here.
samish aerial
Aerial Photo of Samish Bay, 2014

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