Maxwelton Watershed BSID Project
The Maxwelton watershed is located on southern Whidbey Island and is the largest drainage basin (11 square miles) in WRIA 6. The primary drainage for the watershed is Maxwelton Creek, which provides rearing, foraging, and spawning habitat for anadromous salmonid species. The Washington State Department of Health has determined through flow modeling that the fecal coliform loading rates from Maxwelton Creek warrant the closure of public recreational harvest of shellfish. In addition, the Department of Ecology's 303(d) impaired water map identifies a segment of marine water listed as a Category 5 water based on dissolved oxygen levels.
Island County has recently been awarded a grant through the Department of Ecology that will provide resources for fecal coliform bacteria source identification (BSID), education and outreach, and on-site septic system training within the watershed. These efforts are expected to result in water quality improvements, ultimately leading to the Washington State Department of Health lifting the shellfish closure.
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