Monday, October 6, 2014

Around the Sound: Pier today, gone tomorrow

By Seth Preston, communications manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

From this ... 
Our restoration work keeps rolling along in and around Port Gamble Bay.

Thanks to the Legislature, we were able to contract with the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe to remove the old, deteriorating Point Julia pier, as well as in-water and on-shore debris. That debris includes things like rotting boat hulls and abandoned nets. (More on that in a future ECOconnect post.)

The focus of this post is the Port Julia pier. This unused structure is made up of wood pilings treated with creosote. Creosote is an effective substance -- it's designed to protect whatever you use it on. So it kills bugs that may damage the pilings ... along with other marine organisms nearby. It's an indiscriminate killer.

That's the problem. While creosote-treated structures slowly rot, creosote leaches into the surrounding environment, and poisons organisms living there. And the problem is amplified because such structures take a long time to deteriorate.

... to this.
The photos included here (from the tribe and from Celina Abercrombie, the Toxics Cleanup Program's lead for these restoration projects) show how the pier is being dismantled. (You've got to love the dog, right?) And you can check out more images in this Flickr album.

Stay tuned for more news to come about all of our cleanup, restoration and preservation work in Port Gamble Bay. It's one of our high-priority areas under the Puget Sound Initiative.

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