In the last talk of the day Linda Hofstad from Thurston County told a story of success in the effort to improve water quality and upgrade shellfish beds in Henderson Inlet. After 26 years of over 650 acres of shellfish beds degraded in Henderson Inlet the situation is now turning around and shellfish beds are now being upgraded. She identified some primary keys to their success:
- an organized process that addressed local people’s concerns and developed a plan with priority actions.
- a risk based organized approach to inspection of septic systems – a major target of the effort to address water qualtiy
- incentives and assistance provided to local homeowners with septic systems including rebates, low interest loans, grants and workshops to help landowners address problem septic systems.
The result of this focused cooperative effort has been the upgrading of shellfish beds in Henderson Inlet.