The Mussel Watch Program, coordinated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, engages citizen science volunteers in using mussels to evaluate the geographic extent and magnitude of nearshore contamination in Puget Sound biota. It is the longest running continuous chemical contaminant monitoring program in U.S. coastal and Great Lakes waters and was created in response to concerns over environmental quality of the Nation’s coastal and estuarine ecosystems. The Program analyzes chemical and biological contaminant trends in sediment and bivalve tissue collected at over 300 coastal sites from 1986 to present.

In October, teams of Puget Soundkeeper volunteers install cages of mussels throughout Puget Sound at a late night low tide. Mussels are then collected 3 months later and their tissues are analyzed for the accumulation of various pollutants.

Check our events page to confirm patrol times and register.

Note: 2021 Mussel Watch Program has been completed, check back next October!