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oysters

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A proposal to spray a neurotoxic pesticide on oyster beds in Southwest Washington is back on the table. Growers in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor are looking for ways to address an infestation of burrowing shrimp.

The state is taking comments on the controversial plan through Wednesday.

Shina Wysocki holds an oyster raised at Chelsea Farms in Olympia, Wash.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The ocean is becoming more acidic and fossil fuel emissions are making it worse. That can be lethal for oyster larvae because it inhibits their ability to form shells.

But there is one variety of oyster that seems to be more able to adapt to that change. A small, family-run growing operation in Olympia has made growing it a priority.

Driving up the coast toward Bay Center, Wash., it's obvious when you start to approach Willapa Bay. Fifteen-foot high piles of empty shells begin to appear on the side of the road. This is an oyster town.

But it's also home to a sinking piece of history.

©Guofan Zhang, photo by Tao Liu / Nature

The oyster is more than a seafood favorite. It’s an ecological lynchpin in Puget Sound and on beaches around the world, so scientists are thankful the Pacific oyster is the latest creature to have its genetic code unveiled.

The shellfish has a lot going on inside.

“I'm just always totally amazed that what most people think of as a shell full of goo, when they open it up, has this very complex physiology, where they control reproductive process very similar to humans and mammals,” says Steven Roberts, a professor of fisheries at the University of Washington.

Claudia Wedell / Flickr

Scientists are blaming slightly higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters caused by global warming for the failure of oyster larvae to survive in an Oregon hatchery.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington health officials say five people in the state got sick from eating raw oysters that were harvested from an area of Puget Sound's Hood Canal and distributed to 23 states.

Swamibu / Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Health Department has closed some beaches to oyster harvesting at Samish Bay and the Hood Canal near Hoodsport because several people who ate raw oysters were sickened by a bacterial disease called vibriosis.