Holmes Harbor Water Quality

South End of Holmes Harbor Closed to Shellfish Harvesting

Historically, the southernmost part of Holmes Harbor was closed in mid-March by Island County Department of Health (ICDH) following a Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) pollution study of the shellfish growing area.

Water samples from 17 discharge points collected on four seperate occassions exceeded fecal coliform standards, four of them consistently high. Two of the four are located at Freeland Park; the other two were found on Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBBI) beach. Both locations had readings of 2400 fc/100ml on November 3 and October 18, 2005. Permissible levels are less than 100fc/100ml. An earlier study* (May 2004), performed for Island County Public Works by Herrera Environmental Consultants, identified raised levels of pollution at the southern end of Holmes Harbor and requested that the County Commissioners apply for a grant to determine the source. The Commissioners assigned the Planning Department to address pollution levels on a county-wide basis, thus effectively postponing a timely follow-up for both locations at Holmes Harbor.

The areas will remained unclassified and off-limits until the effects of past and present pollution sources had been assessed and remedied. Meanwhile, both commercial and recreational harvesting of shellfish was prohibited from south of Ships Haven Drive on the west side of Holmes Harbor and across to Twin Oaks Lane because of its possible effect on human health.

See the complete survey at the link below.

WA DOH report 060719 (pdf)

(DOE Water Quality Survey - April 11, 2006)

00-01769 Freeland WQ Assessment *2004 Herrera Water Quality Report on Freeland for the County