Drayton Harbor Community Shellfish Farm

Drayton Harbor

The Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm represents a pioneering, multi-dimensional effort to restore clean water and shellfish harvesting in Drayton Harbor. Launched in 2001, the project planted oyster seed with community volunteers in waters that were prohibited to all shellfish harvest due to chronic bacterial contamination. In order to harvest oysters from this historic and productive shellfish growing area, the community would need to tackle pollution sources and achieve measurable water quality improvements in three years’ time.

In June 2004, as a direct result of PSRF’s intensive community-based effort to reduce pollution, 575 acres were conditionally re-opened to shellfish harvest and the community feasted on Drayton Harbor oysters for the first time in ten years. Since then, these same community-grown oysters have become a favorite attraction at selected grocers, local restaurants, the Bellingham Farmers Market and at the Blaine Marina, where residents can stroll down on a Saturday and enjoy a little taste of heaven – locally produced

Oyster harvesting in Drayton Harbor is open February 1 through October 31 of each year. The Bay is  closed as a precaution  during the wettest  months ( November, December and January)   when runoff from the Drayton Harbor watershed may  make it unsafe to eat oysters and other shellfish grown in the  Harbor. Thanks to the presence of the community farm and the watchful eyes of our shareholders, water quality monitoring and pollution control work continues throughout the watershed with the ultimate goal of  removing this three  month closure as well.  Collectively, we are a stubborn group of Farmers of the Tideflats,  who take pride in knowing we have contributed to sustaining  a 100 year old  tradition of oyster farming in Drayton Harbor.

The oyster beds on Jersey's coast
Have justly won a name
But we grow better flavored ones
Yes,sir, right here in Blaine.

(From 1909 Homeseeker’s edition of the Blaine Journal

We rest at night knowing we have not stood by and watched this wonderful resource slip away.

Thanks to all for your continuing support.


 

For more information about this project or to get involved, please contact Steve at draytoncsa@comcast.net