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Posted on: June 15, 2017

17-042 Celebrate the state’s shellfish heritage at Camano Island State Park



Media contacts:
Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Srey Ryser, State Parks, (360) 902-8626
John Floberg, Washington State Parks Foundation, (206) 437-6086

ShellFest comes to park for the first time, June 24

OLYMPIA – June  15, 2017– The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Parks Foundation invite the public to ShellFest 2017 at Camano Island State Park in Island County.

The free event takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Camano Island State Park, 2269 S. Lowell Point Road, Camano Island. (Directions)

Now in its sixth year, ShellFest showcases the cultural, economic, environmental and recreational importance of shellfish as part of the Washington Shellfish Initiative. This is the first year ShellFest has taken place at Camano Island State Park, and it is the second ShellFest to take place in 2017. The first event was held in April at Penrose Point State Park.

“Shellfish represent a vital resource for tribes and habitat health, and they provide a way to educate the next generation about the importance of clean water,” said Srey Ryser, ShellFest organizer for State Parks. “People who may not know anything about shellfish or may not have ever tasted them before come away from these events with a new-found respect—and possibly a newly discovered appetite—for shellfish.”

The event will include exhibits, shellfish lunch, hands-on activities for children, touch tanks, wooden boat building, guided low-tide beach walks and educational booths about restoring and protecting shellfish beds in Puget Sound and on the Washington coast.

In addition, the Cama Beach Foundation (CBF) will demonstrate beach seining with its 30 foot net to show participants the fish and invertebrates that live in the nearshore eelgrass beds. The CBF is careful to return the sea life safely to their natural environment.

Penn Cove Shellfish will provide a shellfish lunch from noon to 3 p.m.  Lunch is free with a suggested donation of $7 per person or $20 per family to benefit the Washington State Parks Foundation.

Admission is free. A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to the event. More information about the pass is here:

Other event partners include:

  • Cama Beach Foundation
  • Center for Wooden Boats
  • Friends of Camano Island Parks
  • Island County Public Health
  • Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association
  • Razor Clam Society
  • Sound Water Stewards
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Upper Skagit Indian Tribe
  • Washington CoastSavers
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Washington Sea Grant
  • Washington State Department of Ecology’s BEACH Program
  • Washington State Department of Health
  • Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Washington State Parks Boating Safety Program
  • Washington State Parks Business Development Program
  • Washington State Parks Volunteers Program

Shellfish have a significant influence on Washington’s cultural and culinary identity and as a recreational, commercial and tribal resource. Event sponsors all have a role in protecting and preserving shellfish.

Washington Shellfish Initiative
Washington became the first state in the nation to establish a shellfish initiative to strengthen the health of shellfish resources and bolster their role in the state’s economy. The Washington Shellfish Initiative (WSI) was launched in 2011 under the leadership of former Governor Chris Gregoire.

In 2016, Gov. Jay Inslee launched Phase II of the initiative—a collaborative partnership with federal, tribal, industry and non-profit partners. Phase II aims to protect and enhance the unique shellfish resources that are instrumental in creating shellfish-farming jobs, cleaning Washington’s waters and continuing traditions of eating shellfish from our shores.  

About Camano Island State Park
Close to Seattle but a world away, Camano Island State Park offers a mellow, less bustling, but equally friendly alternative to its busier neighbor, Cama Beach Historical State Park. Forest loop trails provide cool, tranquil hiking, while shoreline strolls offering birding, shell and rock exploration and sweeping views of  Puget Sound, Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainer. The 244-acre camping park features 6,700 feet of rocky shoreline and beach located an hour’s drive north of Seattle. For more information, visit: 

About the Washington State Parks Foundation
The Washington State Parks Foundation mission is “to ensure a vibrant Washington State Parks system for generations to enjoy. We engage, expand, and sustain a broad base of supporters who give to, advocate for, and treasure our state parks.” For more information, visit


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650

Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388

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