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State of the Oyster

Main Project Information
Goal Monitor bacterial contamination in edible shellfish
Task Collect oyster and clam samples from the beach
Where Washington United States Washington United States

State of the Oyster Study volunteers help monitor bacterial contamination levels in edible shellfish collected from privately owned Washington state beaches in Hood Canal and throughout Puget Sound

Volunteers collect oyster and clam samples from their beaches at specific times during summer months. Washington Sea Grant arranges for laboratory testing of these samples, which are analyzed for the presence of harmful bacteria or for bacterial indicators of fecal contamination. (Volunteers must cover the lab fees.) Washington Sea Grant then helps participants interpret their test results and, if needed, works closely with them to identify and remedy the sources of observed contamination.

Through the years, State of the Oyster has has helped waterfront residents on more than 300 Washington state beaches learn what makes for safer oysters and clams and how to minimize fecal contamination in their waters.

How to Join

Participate in this study by filling out and mailing the "What is the State of Your Oyster?" form, which can be found here:

For more information, contact Teri King at or (360) 432-3054.

Participation Fee what $55
Required Gear

A heavy, leak-proof bag to hold the samples.

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At the beach, In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes
Tags in oceans, lakes, ocean, rivers, streams
Project Updated 05/23/2018