The tidelands surrounding the Swinomish Reservation are an important cultural, environmental, and subsistence resource for the Tribe. DEP conducts regular and project-based surveys of Reservation beaches to monitor the conditions of the nearshore environment at Swinomish. Surveys document the substrate conditions (sediment), vegetation cover, and elevation profile of beaches. These surveys provide information about both seasonal variability and long-term trends in the quality of nearshore habitat. The data collected inform management activities, restoration planning and design, and climate change planning.
As part of the DEP committment to water quality monitoring, comprehensive tideland resource monitoring is conducted including:
- monitoring the nearshore environment's fish habitat and geomorphic parameters relating to the maintenance of nearshore processes;
- testing shellfish for bioaccumulate toxics and environmental health;
- testing shellfish (clams) for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP); and,
- surveying reservation beaches for clam population health and distribution.