Maintain Clean Water

Clean Water = Harvestable Seafood

The Puget Sound shorelines have the capacity to provide bountiful, world-class seafood.  Help ensure harvestable resources such as oysters, clams, and crab by taking simple steps to keep our waterways clean.  Here’s how:

Regularly Inspect and Maintain Septic Systems

  • Septic systems that leak sewage can contaminate our waterways with disease-causing pathogens and viruses.  And, like pet waste, sewage adds excessive nutrients to aquatic ecosystems which can spur algal growth and deplete the oxygen that fish and shellfish depend on.  Most septic systems should be inspected once a year and tanks should be pumped every three to five years depending on size and usage. Ensuring your on-site septic system (OSS) is handling waste properly is an easy way to help maintain the health of Puget Sound.
    Oyster Give-Away Program

    Participate in the Oyster-Give-Away Program, and get free oysters!

    The Oyster-Give-Away Program aims to address excess nutrient input and pollution that affects shoreline health and local harvest. If you live on Bainbridge Island, you are eligible to receive a free dozen local oysters, just for maintaining your septic system. These oysters are harvested from our Community Shellfish Farm (CSF) in Port Madison.  The farm can only operate if local communities in this area are successful in keeping our creeks, shorelines, and marine waters clean.  Therefore, we want to encourage and reward responsible septic owners who live near our Community Shellfish Farm.


    Here’s how to receive your free oysters:

    Bainbridge Island Residents: If you live on Bainbridge Island and have your septic systems regularly inspected and maintained we’d like to say THANK YOU.  We will salute you for helping to improve local marine waters with a dozen FREE Oysters every year from the local Port Madison Community Shellfish Farm (PMCSF). You are helping to keep the water clean, so we can grow delicious, world-class oysters!  Just email a copy of your Certificate of Inspection or Pump Out receipt to:, and then pick up your dozen oysters after the next harvest.

Pick up Pet Waste- Scoop it, Bag it, and Put it in the Trash!

  • Pet waste is raw sewage and should be treated as such! When it rains, harmful pathogens travel across lawns, sidewalks, and streets into storm water drains and eventually into Puget Sound degrading our water quality and potentially contaminating shellfish. Much of this pet waste problem can simply be addressed in our own back yards by regularly picking up after our own four-legged friends.


Garden Wisely

  • Herbicides and pesticides are made to kill and that‘s exactly what they do when they get washed into our waterways.  Even fertilizers which contain phosphates and nitrates have a negative effect on aquatic plants and animals. Try to avoid using these products, but if you have to, use them sparingly or find natural alternatives like compost.  You can also plant native species, which are often more resilient to pests and disease and require much less maintenance overall.

If it’s on the ground, it’s in the water!

Water quality plays an important role in the health of our aquatic ecosystems and our ability to enjoy our marine resources.  With our effective storm drainage systems, stormwater runoff quickly and directly washes into our waterways carrying with it anything in its path including pet waste, trash, fertilizer, and pollutants. Fish, clams, oysters, crab, and other critters swim and eat in these waters, and so do we!  The good news is that we can all make simple adjustments in our lives to reduce the amount of pollution that ends up in our waterways.  When we keep our waterways healthy, we keep ourselves healthy.