About this Conservation Program

Program quick facts and accomplishments

2019-21 Program Accomplishments

What is the Shellfish Program?

The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) Shellfish Program uses a targeted approach to invest in projects voluntarily installed by conservation districts and landowners that build cumulative results for shellfish recovery. Priority is given to “project clusters” within a watershed or stream reach where there’s a water quality concern.

Pollutants flowing into Puget Sound and the Pacific coast periodically cause shellfish growing areas to close. These closures threaten our state’s shellfish industry – which generates an estimated 2,700 jobs and over $70 million in labor income per year – and our obligation to provide shellfish for tribal harvest.

Our Shellfish Program helps fund voluntary, watershed-based efforts that are proven-effective at improving water quality and re-opening shellfish growing areas. The program also supports Governor Inslee’s Shellfish Initiative and the Puget Sound Action Agenda strategic initiative to recover shellfish beds.

“The two years of planning, preparation, tear down, rebuilding, and completion of the heavy use area was a wonderful experience… Working together makes our creeks cleaner, our environment healthier, and the planet better for generations to come.” – Jeff Stokes, Kitsap County farmer on his experience working with Kitsap Conservation District to install best management practices

Eligibility and program guidelines

Conservation districts with a service area that includes watersheds or stream reaches that flow into shellfish growing areas are eligible for Shellfish Program funding. View the current program guidelines.

More information

  • For general questions about the Shellfish Program, please contact Alison Halpern, 360-280-5556.
  • For conservation districts who have questions about Shellfish Program funding, please contact Karla Heinitz, 360-407-6212.

Files & Publications

Check out these files and publications relating to the Shellfish grant program.

File Name


Funding for this project is ongoing. Please contact your regional manager for more information.

Success Stories from this Grant Program

Clallam Conservation District

Clallam Conservation District: Re-opening shellfish beds in Dungeness Bay

Between 2000-03, over 1,700 acres of shellfish harvest area in Dungeness Bay were downgraded due to bacterial pollution. Today, thanks to a voluntary and community-driven effort to identify and correct sources of water pollution, the Bay has seen improvements and re-openings of shellfish harvest areas.

Full Story