Tire Pile Removal Program

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, thousands of surplus automotive tires were placed on the bottom of Puget Sound with the intention of attracting native reef fish in order to bolster recreational fishing opportunities across the state. However, since installation, these artificial tire structures have been deemed unsuccessful, and concern has been growing around the environmental impact they may have on the local environment and species that exist around them.
tire removal
In 2019, efforts to remove these piles of tires from state owned aquatic lands (SOAL) became priority, with DNR Aquatics Division leading the efforts as the lead state agency in charge of removal. Since then, DNR, in collaboration with the Department of Ecology, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Washington Scuba Alliance have been working to inventory and survey as many Tire Pile locations as possible in the Puget Sound. DNR has since identified 14 Tire Pile sites as priority removal locations, and with the support from collaborative agencies, planning and coordinating the removal efforts are underway.
pile of tires on beach
DNR ultimately intends to develop a framework for Tire Pile Removal, and establish Best Management Practices in order to pursue removal of all artificial tire-based structures on state owned aquatic land, restoring the marine benthos back to it’s original state.