Community Shellfish Farms

Harvesting oysters from the Port Madison Community Shellfish Farm on a beautifully sunny day.

Puget Sound Restoration Fund operates three community shellfish farms in Puget Sound to restore and maintain healthy shellfish growing areas, spur cleanup efforts and maintain community access to shellfish resources. The purpose of a community shellfish farm is to connect people to their marine environment at a gut level. When residents get involved in shellfish farming they personally benefit from clean water – they get to eat shellfish right off the beach, they get to experience the productivity of a healthy marine ecosystem, and they become invested in maintaining water quality. When bacterial contamination threatens their ability to harvest, residents are motivated to change practices on their own property and support local pollution control efforts to regain something that’s personally important to them. Harvesting local seafood on the beach makes people WANT to protect the marine environment, which leads to a long-term commitment to the health of Puget Sound.

What it means to become a member of our community shellfish farms

The Drayton Harbor and Port Madison farms use a Community Supported Aquaculture (CSA) model that allows participants to buy a membership to a farm and receive deliveries of shellfish throughout the season. CSA membership prices, seasons, and logistics vary from farm to farm, and all the proceeds from shellfish sales support local water quality improvement projects and community involvement programs.  As a member you are also invited to volunteer with harvesting.  This means you will get to visit the farm, help us collect and bag shellfish and partake in the fun of eating locally! Becoming a member of a community shellfish farm means more than receiving clams or oysters; it means having the opportunity to connect with a local food source and contribute to critical pollution control efforts in your community.

For those in Thurston County, Henderson Inlet oysters can be found at the Farm Stand in east Olympia, at local restaurants, or just come out to one of our monthly work parties at the Henderson Inlet farm.

Click below to listen to a keynote address given by Betsy Peabody at the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education on restoring shellfish harvest in Samish Bay and governing during challenging economic times.