Clean Terrell Campaign

A scenic lake, a meandering stream and a beautiful bay; these are the natural features that make the Terrell Creek watershed and Birch Bay a special place to live, work, and play. However the health of these features depends upon one very real constraint: clean water (water quality). Fish, shellfish, and humans all need clean and cool water. Clean water is free of harmful pathogens and other pollutants. Cool water provides habitat for native fish, helps to keep dissolved oxygen levels high for fish and other aquatic organisms and inhibits the growth of harmful and unsightly algae.

Terrell Creek and Birch Bay are impacted by three contributing sources of poor water quality: 1. Inadequate waterway buffers of native trees and shrubs.

2. Poor farm conservation practices.

3. Failing on-site septic systems

Fecal coliform bacteria are closely monitored in Terrell Creek and Birch Bay. In 2003, the Washington State Department of Health listed Birch Bay as a "threatened" shellfish growing area due to declining water quality. In 2008, the area around the mouth of Terrell Creek, the largest tributary into Birch Bay, was closed permanently to shellfish harvesting due to high counts of fecal coliform bacteria entering the bay from Terrell Creek. Landowners can help clean up the water in Terrell Creek and Birch Bay by planting riparian areas, developing farm conservation plans, and having regular septic system inspections.

What Can You Do to Help Clean Up Terrell Creek and Birch Bay?

Native trees and shrubs planted along your stream, ditch pond or wetland will help lower water temperatures and keep contaminants out of the water.

Ensure that nutrients, pesticides and other contaminants from your farm, ranch, or rural property do not reach waterways.

Unmaintained or failing septic systems can contribute harmful bacteria and viruses that can reach waterways.