Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Resource Management

Committee Chair

Lene Pedersen

Second Committee Member

Elvin Delgado

Third Committee Member

Rudolph C. Ryser

Abstract

Washington State’s current fish consumption rate and water quality standards update has been a highly contentious public policy debate between Washington State tribes, the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, and many prominent Washington State industries. Environmental groups and Washington tribes have partnered in the Keep Our Seafood Clean Coalition to educate the public on the need for increasing water quality standards to protect tribal and public health. My research includes analyzing Washington's tribal/State agency co-management relationships, the water quality standards history and current criteria, and the narratives of the public debate; and conducting interviews to assess the knowledge base and opinions of the fish and shellfish industry members toward the fish consumption rate and water quality standards update and the potential of this industry to advocate for higher water quality standards. The fish and shellfish industry members hold widely diverse opinions of the fish consumption rate and water quality standards update with certain subcategories and age groups more likely than others to believe there is a need for higher water quality standards.

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