Puget SoundCorps-WCC, shellfish grower combine efforts to clean up Dabob Bay Natural Area

Puget SoundCorps/WCC crews worked with Rock Point Oyster Co. staff to clean up the DNR Natural Area at Dabob Bay recently. Photo: Deborah Nemens/DNR.
Puget SoundCorps/WCC crews worked with Rock Point Oyster Co. staff to clean up the DNR Natural Area at Dabob Bay recently. Photo: Deborah Nemens/DNR.

A one-day beach clean-up at Dabob Bay Natural Area Preserve in early February brought in a bounty (if that’s what you want to call it) of assorted trash. The effort was organized by a DNR Natural Areas Ecologist and carried out by a Puget SoundCorps/Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) crew, whose labors were paid by the State Jobs Bill, which was passed last year.

The crew picked up about 30 bags of trash, as well as many larger items including big chunks of Styrofoam and tires. About one-third of the items were aquaculture debris, mostly mussel disks and oyster harvest bags. Notable items included a Spiderman action figure, lots of shoes, and some gross things best left unmentioned. 

Assisting the Puget SoundCorp/WCC crew were staff volunteers from Rock Point Oyster Co., which leases state aquatic lands near the preserve. The company also hauled the collected trash away to an approved landfill.

The Dabob Bay Natural Area, located on the northwest shore of Hood Canal, includes 1,193 acres of shoreline, marsh and forestland. It protects rare examples of intact salt marsh and sand spit plant communities. The area is considered one of Washington’s best-functioning coastal spit and tidal wetland systems. About a half-dozen commercial shellfish operations operate nearby producing world-renowned oysters. And now it is a lot cleaner thanks to the Puget SoundCorp/WCC, state jobs bill funds, and the help of Rock Point Oyster Co.

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