In Anacortes, crews are wrapping up the latest round of work to remake and revive the large, former Custom Plywood site on the Fidalgo Bay shore.
Now Ecology will turn attention to a much smaller site near the Cap Sante Marina. We call it the Former Shell Tank Farm site. The Port of Anacortes, which owns the property, uses it as a parking lot for boat trailers and vehicles. (See photo at right.) The port is our partner in this and other projects.
Ecology just started a public comment period seeking people’s thoughts on proposed plans for cleaning up contamination at the Former Shell Tank Farm.
A common past
Washington established the Puget Sound Initiative to protect and restore the Sound. Several bay-wide areas have been identified as high-priority cleanup areas – Port Gamble in Kitsap County; Padilla and Fidalgo bays in Skagit County; Port Angeles in Clallam County; Budd Inlet in Thurston County; Port Gardner Bay in Snohomish County; and Dumas Bay in King County.
This work aims to clean up contaminated sites within one-half mile of the Sound. Doing so will help to reduce pollution and restore habitat and shorelines.
Ecology in AnacortesAn Ecology team works with local governments, site owners, area tribes, and other stakeholders to help shape the cleanups at sites around the Anacortes area.
The sites share a common past: They have been impacted by pollution, mostly from historical industrial operations around the Anacortes waterfront.
The waterfront still maintains an industrial flavor, with Dakota Creek Industries and other boat-building operations. But it was once the home to even larger facilities, such as the former Scott Paper mill.
Environment, economy, communityWe talk frequently about how cleanup work does more than benefit the environment. That work creates and sustains construction jobs, and provides long-term opportunities for economic development and other projects. In turn, a healthier environment and a strong economy improve a community’s quality of life.
That concept of “environment, economy, community” is on display in Anacortes, where the waterfront is now a mix of commercial, industrial and public uses.
- Dakota Creek is a bustling shipyard, in part because of some environmental work the company did with the Port of Anacortes.
- At the Cap Sante Marine site, cleanup cleared the way for the construction of a waterfront Anthony’s restaurant.
- A large piece of the former Scott Paper site, long dormant and contaminated, now is home to a waterfront park that draws local residents and visitors for a variety of events. And other portions of the site house commercial and public operations, such as the Northwest Educational Service District 189 main office.