Penn Cove - Near Term Action (NTA)
Penn Cove is located two hours North of Seattle, Washington, and is an important economic and ecological place on Whidbey Island. Shellfish growing areas are currently threatened with a classification downgrade by Washington Department of Health due to exceedances of water quality standards, assumed to be from upland sources.
Penn Cove Watershed: Water Quality Outreach & Best Management Practice Assistance
In July 2018, Whidbey Island Conservation District (WICD) received grant funding through the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY), from the National Estuary Program Stormwater Strategic Initiative, to improve water quality through outreach, technical assistance, and Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Penn Cove, Whidbey Island. WICD will use a remote watershed assessment to address potential contaminants discharging into Puget Sound from the 6,100 Penn Cove Watershed. Penn Cove is popular marine water body for recreational boating and shellfishing, and serves as headquarters for Penn Cove Shellfish, a large commercial shellfish farm operation. These uses illustrate the importance of protecting public health and the local economy through direct outreach and assistance to willing landowners.
This project starts with a watershed assessment to determine surface water drainage patterns, types, and distribution of land uses. This information helps identify potential sources of contamination near water streams and ditches.
By contducting public outreach and providing technical assistance to landowners in this basin, this project is focused on encouraging and supporting landowners with relevant BMPs to address water quality concerns.
Project Tasks & Timeline
Grant funding for this project is divided over a 2-year period starting February 1, 2018 and expiring on September 1, 2020. The following six project tasks have been distributed accordingly over the grant period:
What We're Doing
WICD is a non-regulatory organization that provides free services to Whidbey Island through voluntary cooperation with land owners, to improve land use & management practices. Our aim in this project is to connect with Penn Cove Watershed Land Owners to promote and support the implementation of water quality BMPs on their property.
What You Can Do
Landowners can help protect and improve water quality by implementing BMPs on their property. BMPs such as vegetated buffers, rotational grazing, nutrient management, use of properly surfaced confinement areas, installing gutters & downspouts to manage stormwater, manure management, lawn care, car maintenance, septic systems, and more.
“This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 01J18101 to Department of Ecology. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.”