The Olympia Oyster moved one step closer to becoming Washington’s official oyster Thursday, with a bill sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield passing in the state Senate.
The Raymond Democrat introduced the bill in late January in attempt to bring recognition to local oyster growers. This species of oyster is found in many areas of the Washington coast and Puget Sound, including Willapa Bay.
Hatfield introduced the measure at the urging of Claire Thompson, a student at Nova Middle School in Olympia, who suggested the bill as part of a school project and an effort to bring attention to threats facing sea life.
“I’m excited to see this bill move through the process. It’s an opportunity to shed light on an industry vital to our state’s economy and culture,” Hatfield said. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to share a lesson in civics with a young student in our state.”
The bill must go to both the state House and Gov. Jay Inslee before being signed into law.