Shoreline Living and Restoration

We also offer local activities and training on salmon and beach-naturalist and stewardship programming. Learn more in Ocean Learning.

Bivalves for Clean Water

Marine Water Quality Specialist, 206-543-6600

The Bivalves for Clean Water program educates marine shoreline owners and recreational shellfish harvesters about coastal pollution, ecosystem health, water quality and resource management issues challenging Puget Sound and Hood Canal. This multifaceted approach lets participants choose activities that fit their individual learning styles and interests.

Activities offered include workshops, field trips, shellfish-enhancement activities, citizen monitoring, beach walks and assessments, site visits, publications and one-on-one technical assistance.

WSG recruits and trains volunteers to identify and eliminate pollution sources in their watersheds, enhance recreational shellfish populations and conduct safe recreational harvest trips.

Clean and Simple Workshops

Marine Water Quality Specialist, 206-543-6600

Contaminants in Puget Sound are a growing concern. Heavy metals such as mercury, copper and lead are known to have neurological, developmental and reproductive effects on wildlife and humans. Cleaning products may not be responsible for the majority of contaminants in Puget Sound but they do contribute to pollution problems.

To schedule a workshop for you community group, contact Washington Sea Grant at 206-543-6600.

Recreational Harvest Program

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

WSG offers opportunities for citizens of all ages to learn how to recreationally harvest marine and shoreline species and how to do so safely, legally and sustainably. Join local experts, experienced harvesters and Sea Grant staff in the classroom and in the field.

Best of all, WSG can help you to enjoy the healthy, nutritious fruits of your labors.

Restoration Monitoring Program on the Elwha River

Ian Miller, Coastal Hazards Specialist

This program was designed to test a fundamental idea associated with the Elwha dam removals: that the input of a massive dose of new sediment from the Elwha River into marine waters will nourish beaches miles away. Monthly surveys of beach profiles and grain size help researchers test the concepts that are used to manage shorelines throughout Washington State.

These surveys help investigators better understand the full scope of the restoration benefit of removing the dams. And this research provides a case study for adapting to long-term environmental changes like sea level rise.

In addition to supporting the research, WSG partners with multiple entities engaged in the Elwha studies to facilitate funding, coordinate outreach efforts, organize meetings and publish results.

Septic Sense – Septic Socials and Septic System Landscaping Classes

Marine Water Quality Specialist, 206-543-6600

Septic Socials

A Septic Social is a great way to meet your neighbors and entertain your friends while discovering your underground treasure. The program, which has been running for more than 20 years, was developed by WSG to bring the topic of septic system operation and maintenance to users’ backyards.

Sea Grant staff meet with the host a week before a Social to uncover the septic system and learn its layout. During the Social, participants learn to check the sludge and scum layer as well as the system’s flow. Uncovering the system and letting people explore it from aboveground takes the mystery out of how the system works.

Find more resources here:

Septic System Landscaping

Planting is recommended in septic areas because plants assist oxygen exchange and evaporation in the drainfield area. Covering your septic area with plastics, bark, gravel or patio blocks set in sand won’t provide the same benefits as planting. Landscapes can be attractive and easily maintained when you choose the right plants and adornments to conceal above ground septic system components. How do you know which plants will do well? Which ones won’t harm your system? This workshop teaches homeowners the basics of landscaping existing and new septic systems.


Maintaining Your Pressure Distribution Septic System

Maintaining Your On-Site Sand Filter Septic System

Maintaining Your Mound Septic System

Shoreline Ambassador Program

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

WSG trains volunteers in shoreline processes, armoring function, and removal and permitting processes so they can assist homeowners interested in removing shoreline barriers (armoring) from their property.

Volunteers provide homeowners with informative, non-regulatory resources that help guide them through the process. This program is coordinated by WSG and Washington State University. To participate or for additional information:

Shoreline Monitoring Program

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

Each year, state and federal governments spend millions of dollars funding competitively ranked projects for restoring salmon habitat. But they provide very little funding for monitoring, assessing the effectiveness of restoration approaches or ensuring that ecological responses meet project goals. Using trained volunteers and students, WSG is conducting long-term monitoring — including topographic surveys and beach transect surveys of sediment, slope and biological communities.

WSG provides oversight, analyzes the data collected, supervises citizen volunteers and shares results with others.

Technical Assistance and Homeowner Support to Improve Local Water Quality

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

Stormwater runoff and poor residential practices are major contributors to the flow of toxins, chemicals, pathogens, nutrients and sediment into Puget Sound. WSG educates people and communities about how to become part of the solution by reducing stormwater pollution.

The program helps citizens understand their impacts on the marine environment, enlisting them in activities and best practices that promote environmental stewardship. This work includes teaching homeowners about low-impact residential practices such as:

Well Education Testing (WET)

Marine Water Quality Specialist, 206-543-6600

WET invites you to look at the health of your well and learn how to keep your drinking water safe. The Washington State Department of Health recommends testing of individual wells annually for fecal coliform bacteria; testing your water is the best way to identify any contamination. WET provides homeowners with a local, inexpensive way to do the testing.

On scheduled dates, residents can submit drinking water samples to WSG to be tested for bacterial indicators of fecal contamination. WSG then helps participants interpret the test results and, if necessary, works closely with them to identify and remedy sources of contamination.