FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2009
Public ‘Open House’ about management of Mystery Bay
Evening meeting June 15
OLYMPIA – The public is invited to an open house-style public meeting, Monday, June 15 regarding the management of Mystery Bay for a broad spectrum of public benefits. The meeting, supported by State Representative Van De Wege, is a collaboration of the state Department of Health, Jefferson County Department of Community Development, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), State Parks and Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association.
State-owned aquatic lands within the bay provide diverse habitat that supports myriad native species. Uses include residential mooring buoys and recreational moorages around the bay and at the Mystery Bay State Park; and commercial shellfish growing businesses.
At the open house, the agencies will share information about what has been done so far and their interim solution to compatible uses in Mystery Bay. This open house will provide an opportunity for all parts of the community to ask questions and begin to offer ideas about a long-term sustainable solution for uses in the inner and outer parts of Mystery Bay.
Open House Meeting June 15
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Date: Monday, June 15, 2009
Where: Fort Flagler State Park, Recreation Hall.
Driving Directions: From Port Hadlock, take Hwy 116 east onto Indian Island, then cross onto Marrowstone Island. Continue on Hwy 116 north on Marrowstone Island, where the road becomes Flagler Road and ends at the State Park. At the four-way intersection, go strait; continue forward to the end of the road. The Recreation Hall is adjacent to the large theater building.
Background on challenge of Mystery Bay
The state Department of Health has been considering reclassifying the Mystery Bay commercial shellfish growing area as ‘prohibited’ or ‘conditional.’ The proposed reclassification is due to the number of vessels and mooring buoys located in the bay, which represent a possible risk of discharge which could affect human health due to potential contamination of commercial shellfish. Many stakeholders including agencies, tribes, elected officials, and shellfish growers are working together to address a situation in which different uses (such as shellfish beds and moorings) can be sustained.
DNR-Steward of state aquatic lands
As steward of the 2.6 million acres of state aquatic lands, DNR manages the bedlands under Puget Sound and the coast, many of Washington’s beaches, and natural lakes and navigable rivers. DNR manages these lands not only to facilitate navigation, commerce, and public access, but also to ensure protection of aquatic habitat. State-owned aquatic lands include:
About 68,100 acres of state-owned tidelands, or 106 square miles
90,000 acres of harbor areas
All submerged marine lands below extreme low tide—that’s 3,430 square miles of bedlands under navigable waters, as well as freshwater shorelands and bedlands
Peter Goldmark, who administers the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889 and the first commissioner from Eastern Washington.
Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Sr. Communications Manager, 360-902-1721, firstname.lastname@example.org
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