(BELLINGHAM)- The abundance and diversity of marine life living in the mud at the bottom of Bellingham Bay is unusually low, according to a recently released report from the Washington Department of Ecology. A bay-wide survey from 2010 found low numbers of clams, snails, sea stars, crabs and shrimp. This is a strong indicator that sediment quality is declining. Another indicator was the amount of toxicity in the sediments. The decline could not be attributed to any significant chemical contamination that Ecology measured, and scientists believe other environmental conditions are impacting the benthic communities.