Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Around the Sound: New video highlights Port Gamble cleanup

By Seth Preston, communications manager, Toxics Cleanup Program

This video from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission focuses on the restoration work that Ecology and the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe did recently in and around Port Gamble Bay.

The old Point Julia pier has been removed.
It's a great example of the work we are doing under the Puget Sound Initiative. Thanks to the Legislature, we were able to contract with the 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.

The unused Port Julia pier was 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.

In addition to the video, you can check out more images in this Flickr album.

Cleanup coming

A historical view of the former Pope and Talbot mill.
We're not just doing restoration work -- we're working with Pope Resources to clean up historical pollution in and around the bay caused by the former Pope and Talbot mill. That work will begin in July 2015. Local tribes and Pope Resources are working to resolve any permitting questions before the cleanup starts.

Stay tuned!

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