North Chuckanut Bay is a recreational shellfish harvesting area that supports many species of clams. There have been concerns about bacteria levels in Chuckanut Bay for the past 20 years. In 1994, the WA State Department of Health (DOH) conducted a shoreline survey of Chuckanut Bay Park, and the resulting report recommended that the recreational shellfish harvesting area in the bay should be closed because of water quality and sewage disposal conditions. However, the area has always been popular for recreational harvest despite the health advisory and shellfish closure.
The Whatcom MRC is currently working with the Whatcom County Health Department, Whatcom County Public Works Natural Resources, Washington Department of Health, citizen volunteers, and the local community to conduct intensive water quality sampling and community outreach, to help potentially restore the recreational shellfish area.