Submitted by Port of Olympia
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Squaxin Island Tribe, the Port of Olympia, the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group (SPSSEG), and private landowners are joining together to clear toxic derelict pilings and other structures from much of the southern end of Budd Inlet in Olympia.
The work, which is funded by the 2012 Jobs Now Act, begins this week and continues through March 14. The project is expected to cost roughly $278,000.
The Squaxin Island Tribe’s involvement in the project began when they received three acres of tideland as a donation from a family estate. The tidelands included 224 pilings from a former industrial site.
“We saw this as an opportunity to restore these tidelands by taking out the pilings that are leaching pollutants into Budd Inlet,” said Andy Whitener, Natural Resources Director for the tribe. “There is a lot of work to be done in Budd Inlet to restore its ecological function. Getting these pilings out of here is a great start.”
“The Budd Inlet creosote project is a great example of how the Jobs Now Act is putting the private sector to work and helping to clean up Puget Sound,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark.
“The Port of Olympia appreciates the opportunity to partner with other local entities on a project that helps improve the health and safety of South Puget Sound,” said George L. Barner, Jr., Port Commission President.
The multi-partner team also includes private landowners such as Sarah Smyth McIntosh, President of Delta Illahee I LP and owner of Smyth Landing in Olympia. Blackwater Marine of Kirkland is the contractor for the project.
The creosote removal project will clear approximately 400 derelict creosote-treated pilings and 7,000 square feet of derelict old structures such as piers and docks from 1.2 miles of shoreline from four sites along the west side of inner Budd Inlet. This project aligns with the Puget Sound Action Agenda’s goal to remove several thousand pilings from Puget Sound Waters by the year 2017.
Download a map showing the four project sites.
Removal schedule and public viewing opportunities:
· Contractor begins mobilizing crew and equipment: February 4.
· West Bay Reliable site: February 4 – 5 (no public access; limited viewing from West Bay Park)
· Industrial Petroleum site: February 6 – 8 (no public access; limited viewing from West Bay Park)
· West Bay Park site: February 11 – 15 (public access; easy to view from the park)
· Delta Illahee/ Squaxin Tribe site: February 15 – March 10 (public access via a parking lot and a viewing platform.)
(Note: this schedule is subject to change, depending on conditions. All work must be completed by March 14, the end of the “work window,” to avoid harm to juvenile salmon feeding and migration area.)
Removing creosote from the marine environment
Creosote-treated pilings and structures in Budd Inlet leach pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), into the area’s marine environment. These highly toxic chemicals are harmful to marine life. For example, creosote is known to reduce salmon growth and affect the immune systems of salmon. PAHs also affect the forage fish that salmon eat, such as herring. For more information, download DNR’s factsheet “Removing creosote-treated materials from Puget Sound and its beaches.”
This creosote piling project is the second joint Squaxin Tribe-DNR restoration project. Last year, the tribe and DNR removed 48 creosote pilings and a 400-foot bulkhead on Squaxin Island.