Yukon Harbor: Another success for Kitsap health officials

Yukon Harbor and beaches to the north and south have been classified as “approved” for shellfish harvesting by the Washington State Department of Health, as I describe in a story in today’s Kitsap Sun.

Map of area opened to shellfish harvesting

Tracking down the sources of pollution — in this case to 51 failing septic systems and 15 “suspect” systems — is becoming routine for the Kitsap County Health District, which worked hard to reopen major portions of Dyes Inlet a few years ago.

Health district officials are always careful to shift the credit to people who live in the affected area. The willingness of the health district to work with people is a major part of the equation. The other part is the number of people who truly care about water quality and fix septic problems found on their property.

It’s been a great partnership through the years: government officials using a heavy hand only when absolutely necessary and property owners stepping up to their responsibility.

Washington State’s Secretary of Health Mary Selecky was complimentary of this system: “The people and programs of Kitsap County continue to produce great results restoring shellfish water quality. The work serves as a model for the region and other coastal communities around the nation.”

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