Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm


Puget Sound Restoration Fund has been invested in the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm since 2002, along with our partners, Washington State University, Elliott’s Oyster House and Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association.  At the outset, we wanted to join hands with others in the watershed to restore clean water in an historic shellfish growing area – and good things have happened as a result of this collaborative undertaking.  In the face of increased development, and contrary to predicted trends, water quality has improved.

On January 27, 2010, the Washington Department of Health upgraded 240 acres of the Henderson Inlet commercial growing area to Approved.  The Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm is now located on approved ground.  This represents a huge community triumph.  Hats off to residents, businesses and local governments within the Henderson Inlet watershed for tackling pollution sources and improving water quality for all.

On June 13, the Washington Department of Health upgraded 100 acres of shellfish harvesting area in Henderson Inlet, based on improved marine water quality. A lot of great work by their Thurston County partners and area residents made this possible. For more information about this upgrade and to view their news release follow this link:

  • Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
  • Volunteer Farmers
  • Thurston County
  • Thurston Conservation District
  • The Russell Family Foundation
  • Washington State University
  • Elliott’s Oyster House
  • Washington Department of Health
  • Nisqually Shellfish Farm
  • National Fish and Oyster Co.
  • Nisqually Reach Nature Center
  • Western Oyster Company
  • Taylor Shellfish Farms
  • Chelsea Farms
  • South Sound Green
  • Pacific Shellfish Institute
  • Olympia Seafood Company
  • Private tideland owners
  • Residents of the Henderson Inlet watershed

There are 3 ways you can find HICSF oysters:

1. Come out and volunteer at one of the Henderson Community Farm work parties. These are scheduled monthly and are listed below under Workparties and Workshops in South Sound.

The work parties are at the terminus of Sleater Kinney Road NE. When the road curves and turns into 56th Ave. NE, stay on Sleater Kinney Road NE. Go through a gate, and park at the barn. Dress for weather (you will be outside). Rain gear is appropriate. Rubber boots and gardening gloves are best. We have a supply of boots and gloves for those who are without. Email derek@restorationfund.org to get on our volunteer email list.

2. Come visit our Farm Stand on Thursdays from 2:00 – 6:00 pm. We accept phone and email orders--call 360-209-2044 or email derek@restorationfund.org. The Farm Stand is located on the NW corner of Lily Road SE and Stoll Road SE in Olympia, WA. (Click here for a Google map.) It is at the George and Sons Fruit Market. You can pre-order here through PayPal (the quantity is how many dozen oysters you want, not individual oysters), or bring cash. No credit cards, please. Cost is $7.50 per dozen.

3. Find them at these local restaurants:

  • Dockside Bistro
  • Olympia Seafood Company
  • Elliott's Oyster House (Seattle)

If you are interested in wholesale orders, please contact Derek King at 360-209-2044 or email derek@restorationfund.org

As a way of saying thank you for those participating in the Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach Shellfish Protection District On-Site Septic Operation and Maintainance Program, we are giving away a dozen oysters for those who have obtained a Certificate of Inspection or Pump Out receipt. Just bring your copy to one of the following locations to get your free oysters!

Residents in the Henderson Inlet Watershed:

  • Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm (see directions above)
  • East Olympia Farm Stand (see directions and hours above) at George and Sons Fruit Market

Residents in the Nisqually Reach Watershed:

  • National Fish and Oyster Company, 5028 Meridian Road NE, Olympia WA, 98516

The Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm offers community members opportunities to connect directly with Puget Sound in the Henderson Inlet and Nisqually Reach watersheds through volunteer opportunities at routine work parties, Oyster Gardening Workshops, and Nearshore Educational Tours.

Work Parties: All work parties are hosted at the Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm. Our tasks vary and can consists of harvesting and sorting oysters for market, or planting oyster seed; Regardless, we always celebrate the bounty of clean water by enjoying some briney Henderson Pacifics on the grill with good company.

  • HICSF Work Party, 10:00am-1:00pm, Saturday, March 7
  • HICSF Work Party, 10:00am-1:00pm, Saturday, April 18
  • HICSF Work Party, 12:00pm-2:00pm, Saturday, May 16
  • HICSF Work Party, 9:00am-12:00pm, Saturday, June 13

Oyster Gardening Workshops: At these 2 hour long workshops at the Farm, community members can participate in a free shellfish gardening seminar to learn the basics to gardening shellfish on their tidelands. The seminars are led by PSRF staff and aquaculture experts. At the workshop, participants can purchase at cost the necessary materials and seed to start gardening right away! Space is limited at these workshops, so please sign up ahead of time by emailing derek@restorationfund.org or calling 360-209-2044

  • Oyster Gardening Workshop: May 16, 10:00am-12:00pm

Nearshore Educational Tours: These are done in partnership with TCD South Sound Green and the Nisqually Reach Nature Center. During tours at either the in Henderson Inlet Community Shellfish Farm or the Nisqually Reach Nature Center, community members can see first hand the ecological diversity of the Puget Sound nearshore while learning about oyster cultivation, and key concepts in keeping up clean water and tasty oysters! If you are an educator in the Nisqually, Lacey, Olympia area – contact us about how to include a hands-on experience with our shellfish resources in your environmental curricula or field trip.


For more information about this project or to get involved, please contact Derek King at derek@restorationfund.org