State DNR, contractor to remove derelict net pen near Dockton Beach Park
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State DNR, contractor to remove derelict net pen near Dockton Beach Park 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 17, 2013

State DNR, contractor to remove derelict net pen near Dockton Beach Park
Removal will help protect public safety and the marine environment in Quartermaster Harbor

OLYMPIA –The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that work is underway to remove an 11,900-square-foot aging and derelict net pen from Quartermaster Harbor near Dockton Park.

The net pen poses a risk to navigation, public safety, and the environmental health of the bay. It was illegally moored and abandoned on state-owned aquatic lands and is in disrepair. The net pen is secured in place by three aging pilings that contain toxic creosote and is cabled to concrete anchors at the corners. Net pens are floating enclosures used primarily to rear fish.

Tires and plastic foam blocks were used to keep the net pen afloat, and some of the tires have sunk to the seabed and much of foam has broken loose. Both materials can harm the aquatic environment and marine life. Tires can break down in the water, leaching toxic materials, such as heavy metals and petroleum products; plastic foam breaks down and can be mistaken for food by fish and birds.

Beneath the net pen lies a sunken vessel, estimated to be at least 60 feet long, and has the potential to obstruct navigation once the net pen is removed. On June 1, DNR’s Derelict Vessel Removal Program started the 30-day process to take custody of the vessel and will arrange to have it removed as soon as possible. DNR advises boaters to remain clear of the area until the vessel is removed.

About the removal operation
Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. will use its 62-foot landing craft vessel, the Prudhoe Bay, to lift the net pen in sections, along with any associated debris, and haul the material to their yard in Seattle. Crews trained in hazardous waste handling will then separate the materials, salvaging what they can and sending the tires, metals, and pressure-treated lumber to appropriate, licensed disposal facilities.

The removal is expected to take two days and the estimated cost is $25,000. Funding for the removal comes from the Jobs Now Act, passed by the 2012 Legislature. 

View photos of the net pen at: www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/sets/72157634047686379/  

Map of net pen location: www.dnr.wa.gov/SiteCollectionImages/Places/aqr_qtrmstr_hrbr_netpen_location.jpg  

Quartermaster Harbor is located within the 5,530-acre Maury Island Aquatic Reserve, which is managed by DNR. The reserve was established in 2000 to protect wildlife and habitat diversity, including one of 18 distinctive Pacific herring spawning areas in Puget Sound.

DNR recently adopted the Quartermaster Harbor Mooring Buoy Management Plan, as an addendum to the Maury Island Aquatic Reserve Management Plan, which calls for improving moorage opportunities in the harbor while ensuring the health of the marine environment and protecting the interests of local recreational boaters and waterfront residents. The plan specifically calls for removing the net pen, along with derelict and abandoned mooring buoys, and many of the numerous old creosote-treated pilings. 
 
DNR: Steward of state-owned aquatic lands
The 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands (mostly submerged lands) are a public trust, managed and protected by DNR for the people of Washington. DNR manages these lands to protect fish and wildlife and to facilitate commerce, navigation, and public access.

Revenue is generated from the sale of renewable resources, such as wild geoduck, as well as from leasing submerged lands for mooring buoys, marinas, docks, and other uses. This revenue is used to manage and protect the health and productivity of aquatic resources and to fund local projects that restore aquatic ecosystems and create public access to the waters of the state.

Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Communications Manager, DNR Aquatic Resources Division, 360-902-1523, toni.droscher@dnr.wa.gov  

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DNR Communications & Outreach Office
360-902-1016
dnrnews@dnr.wa.gov

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