January 3, 2012
State DNR to remove old creosote pilings from Similk Bay and
Swinomish Channel in January
Bay is a well-documented herring spawning area
OLYMPIA – This month, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will remove approximately135 old creosote pilings from four locations in Similk Bay and the Swinomish Channel near Anacortes. Funding for the estimated $85,000 project comes from the 2012 Jobs Now Act. Culbertson Marine Construction in Anacortes was awarded the contract to remove the pilings.
The best opportunity for the media to view some of the piling removal operations will be in the north end of Turner Bay from the Culbertson Marine Construction property at 12935 Similk Bay Road on January 7, weather permitting. Culbertson Marine will allow the media to access the area from their property during this time.
Who: DNR Aquatic Resources Division’s Creosote Removal Program in partnership with the Swinomish Tribe and private landowners.
What: Creosote piling removal in Similk Bay and Swinomish Channel.
When: Operations begin this week starting with divers assessing the condition of the pilings under the water. Above-water operations will commence immediately following and must be completed by January 30—the end of the work window before herring-spawning season.
Where: Four areas in Similk Bay and Swinomish Channel. (View map)
Directions to Culbertson Marine Construction
Why: Creosote has been used as a wood preservative for more than a century to treat telephone poles, railroad ties, piers, docks, and floats. Creosote comprises more than 300 chemicals, many of which are toxic. The prime chemicals of concern are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which continue to leach into the marine environment long after the treated wood has served its useful life.
Similk Bay is an environmentally significant herring spawning area, and toxic chemicals from creosote can affect young herring.
More information about creosote is available on our factsheet: “Removing creosote-treated materials from Puget Sound and its beaches.”
Contact: Lisa Kaufman, DNR project lead, at 360-708-7226 to find out the best time to observe the operation on January 7. She can also provide photos from the water if desired.
Map of creosote piling areas scheduled for removal
Jobs Now Act 2012
To boost the state’s economy, the 2012 Washington Legislature directed $505 million in the Jobs Now Act to quickly create thousands of jobs in the state. DNR received $37 million of this funding for a broad range of jobs that include removing invasive species, cleaning up beaches, replacing culverts to improve fish passage, restoring shorelines, protecting natural resources, improving recreation facilities, maintaining and enhancing urban forests, and increasing fire protection .
To accomplish this work DNR has emphasized the creation of private sector jobs through contracts.
For the debris removal projects funded by the Jobs Now Act, DNR received the following allotments:
- Creosote piling removal — $1.65 million
- Large debris removal — $200,000
DNR’s Creosote Removal Program
Removal of creosote-treated wood from Puget Sound has been a major focus of DNR's Restoration Program. Since 2004, DNR has partnered with state, tribal, and private entities to identify and remove creosote-treated debris. The effort began in the north Sound and has since expanded Sound-wide.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, DNR Aquatic Resources Division Communications Manager , 360-902-1523, email@example.com
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