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Clear Choices For Clean Water

Where Pollution is Concerned, Every Home is Waterfront Property

No matter where you live, you are part of a watershed - an area of land that drains to a stream, lake, wetland or other body of water. In northern Thurston County, water from your property drains to one of the creeks or lakes leading to Puget Sound.

Puget Sound’s Water Quality Affects Us All

Puget Sound needs your help! It may look clean on the surface, but many of its problems are not visible. During recent tests, 1/3 of the sites in Henderson Inlet failed to meet federal water quality safety standards for fecal coliform bacteria. High levels of bacteria in the water can make you and your family sick from swimming, fishing, beachcombing and boating. And poor water quality takes a toll on the health and diversity of the natural environment.

In our urban watersheds, rain runoff from homes, roads, farms and businesses is a significant source of pollution. As stormwater travels over the surface of the land, it picks up bacteria from animal waste and failing septic systems as well as many other types of pollutants.

While we can’t control the rain, we can control what is carried along by runoff from our properties. This booklet identifies some simple things you can do to improve water quality and protect your family’s health.

Water Pollution is Taking a Toll

The economic and environmental impacts from fecal coliform pollution can be devastating and long lasting. Washington is the leading producer of farmed shellfish, manila clams and blue mussels in the U.S. There are currently five commercial shellfish growers in the Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach.

In October 2001, the Washington State Department of Health restricted shellfish harvesting because levels of fecal coliform were too high. These restrictions triggered the formation of the Shellfish Protection Districts for the Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach watersheds.

The Choice is Clear

Clear Choices for Clean Water is funded by the Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach Shellfish Protection Districts. This program is part of educational outreach efforts to help restore and protect water quality and shellfish tidelands.

Even if you don’t eat, grow, or harvest shellfish, water quality affects you. When shellfish grown in clean water can again be safely harvested in our watersheds, we’ll know our actions are making a difference!

The Rewards are Great

Henderson and Nisqually Shellfish Protection District residents and property owners are eligible to earn the free rewards offered in this booklet. Choose from plants, tools, advice, and discounts worth up to $300!

Current Rewards Include:

  • FREE native plants
  • FREE compost
  • FREE fertilizer
  • FREE soil test
  • FREE dog leash bag dispenser
  • $25 rebate for septic pumping


Take a peek inside our Clear Choices for Clean Water booklet to see how YOU can get your FREE items!


Fill out our ONLINE Clear Choices for Clean Water REWARDS form right now!


For more information, contact:

Sarah Moorehead                                                         Jennifer Johnson

Education & Outreach Coordinator                                Environmental Educator

Thurston Conservation District                                       Thurston County Environmental Health

(360) 754-3588 Ext. 136                                                   (360) 867-2577                               


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