Restoration in Jefferson County
Creosote piling and structure removal project
DNR and its contractor Blackwater Marine of Kirkland, WA are removing nearly 900 derelict, creosote-treated pilings and nearly 5,000 square feet of old dilapidated dock and overwater structures from marine waters in eastern Jefferson County.
Where & When
7 sites, including 4 sites in Hood Canal. Nov. 2013 – Jan. 2014 (Updated 9/23/14)
- View a map of the removal sites.
|Port Townsend Channel||Complete||Approx. 23 creosote-treated pilings|
|South Oak Bay||Complete||Approx. 7 creosote-treated pilings|
|Port Ludlow||Complete||Approx. 47 creosote-treated pilings made up of single pilings and dolphins|
- 273 creosote-treated pilings from the Ferry Dock, timber trestle,
- 2 timber towers, single piles, and 8 dolphins;
- 2 wing walls, made up of approx. 92 piles, wales, and rubbings timbers;
- 4,200 square feet of overwater structure on the Ferry Dock
- 400 square feet of overwater structure on the timber trestle
|Point Whitney||Complete||Approx. 25 creosote-treated pilings|
|Dabob Bay||Complete||Approx. 6 creosote-treated pilings|
|Quilcene Bay||Complete||Approx. 346 creosote-treated pilings|
Why remove creosote-treated materials?
The creosote-treated pilings and structures scheduled for removal have outlived their useful lifespan. However, they continue to leach toxic chemicals into the marine waters and sediments of the nearby nearshore habitat.
Originally used to prevent wood decay and insect infestations, creosote is a toxic soup of hundreds of chemicals. Some of the chemicals in creosote fall into the category of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons—or PAHs. These compounds are known to cause higher mortality rates, reduce growth and alter the immune systems of fish and wildlife that live along the nearshore.
Creosote-treated pilings from derelict structures begin to deteriorate and splinter, exposing new creosote and causing PAHs to leach into the environment. These chemicals are potentially as concentrated as when they were first installed.
Most of the removal sites provide habitat for spawning herring, surf smelt, sand lance, and migrating juvenile salmon species that use the habitat immediately adjacent to these leaching piles during sensitive stages of their life histories.
DNR is leading a large restoration effort to remove toxic creosote-treated pilings, overwater structures, and debris from Puget Sound’s waters. Learn more.
Monitoring the Quilcene Bay site
DNR and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct monitoring at the Quilcene Bay site. DNR and WDFW will compare the effect, if any, of chemicals on the local marine lilfe before the pilings are removed and document recovery of organisms after removal. The study will focus on Pacific herring. Past studies have shown that herring embryos exhibit high mortality when they spawn on or near creosote piling.
About the removal operation
Most of the removal will be done from a barge. A vibratory hammer attached to a crane will loosen the sediments and mud surrounding the pilings. Then, the pilings are lifted with a choker cable attached to the crane and wrapped around the piling. Use of the vibratory hammer helps keep from disturbing the sediments. Pilings that are too short or too broken down to remove completely will be cut one foot below the mudline. At all times during the work, the contractor will have a construction boom and oil containment boom around the pilings to ensure that materials and hazardous waste are not allowed to escape.
Approximately $578,000 (plus tax)
The piling removal is funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under Puget Sound Ecosystem Restoration and Protection Cooperative Agreement under Puget Sound Ecosystem Restoration and Protection Cooperative Agreement Grant PC-00J20101 with Washington Department of Ecology.
For more information about the project, contact Monica Shoemaker, DNR project manager, 206-799-2949.