The calamitous oil spill along the Gulf Coast might spell increased demand for oysters grown in the commercial growing areas of Puget Sound and coastal Washington.
More than one-third of the oyster-growing areas in the Gulf of Mexico have been closed to harvesting as a precautionary measure as the spill widens.
Northwest growers might absorb some of the lost production in the Gulf states.
It’s too early to predict whether growers here will see a spike in orders from the eastern half of the United States as a result of the likely production losses on the Gulf.
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But it’s not too early to redouble efforts in the Northwest to keep our precious waters and shorelines free of oil pollution.
A renewed ban on oil drilling off the Washington coast, improved oil-spill prevention and response for Puget Sound oil tankers, and tighter controls on petroleum-laden stormwater from urban streets, highways and parking lots all are needed to avoid a Gulf-like disaster here.