The Skagit County PIC Program works to find and fix sources of fecal pollution brought by runoff into our rivers, creeks and bays. The program began in 2010 has seen progress through public outreach, source detection efforts and working with local partners to provide technical assistance for landowners.
The program found it’s roots in the Clean Samish Initiative (CSI). In 2009, the CSI brought together over 20 federal, state, and local organizations to address the excessive fecal coliform loading in Samish Bay (Clean Samish Initiative Partners). The CSI is still active today . The PIC program now includes the Padilla Bay Watershed, in addition to the Samish Bay Watershed, in their cleanup efforts.
What are Fecal Coliform Bacteria?
Skagit County focuses on fecal coliform bacteria as the primary indicator of surface water quality. Fecal coliform bacteria are found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals. The presence of fecal coliform in creeks indicates potential pathogens (disease causing agents) in the water. People can be exposed to these pathogens through direct water contact such as swimming, wading, or eating shellfish from waters with high bacteria levels