Shellfish Habitat Conservation Areas are all public and private tidelands that have been identified by the Washington Department of Health as being suitable for commercial shellfish growing areas, as well as any recreational harvest areas identified by the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Any area that has been designated as a Shellfish Protection District is also a Shellfish Habitat Conservation Area.
Kelp & Eelgrass Beds, Pacific Herring Spawning Areas
Eelgrass beds may be found along much of Whatcom County’s marine
shorelines, particularly near Point Roberts, Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay,
Lummi Bay, and around Portage Island. Kelp forests and eelgrass beds
provide forage, spawning and refuge areas for a number of marine
species, including waterfowl, crab, snails, shrimp, and the Pacific
Herring, an important local forage fish.
Preservation of kelp
and eelgrass beds also serves to protect local beaches from erosion by
softening the force of waves against the shoreline.