Year 1 Milestones: Increased stewardship in use of state-owned aquatic lands

Ear to the Ground presents more highlights from the first-year report card on DNR’s Strategic Plan goals.

As part of its Strategic Plan for 2010-2014, DNR set a goal of incoporating appropriate conservation measures into 95% of our new or reauthorized use agreemenets of state-owned aquatic lands.

Grated decking allows light to reach sensitive seagrass habitat. Illustration: Luis Prado/DNR
Grated decking allows light to reach sensitive seagrass habitat. Illustration: Luis Prado/DNR

This first year milestone was achieved. Leases and other use authorizations include a number of stewardship measures that will reduce impacts to the aquatic environment over the length of the use. Here are some examples of these conservation practices that DNR’s lessees are implementing to reduce those negative affects to aquatic ecosystems:

  • Removing unused treated wood pilings and tire bumpers—both of which can leach toxic substances into the water.
  • Using one of many types of dock grating that allows light through to the waters below.
  • Creating a plan to address stormwater runoff to prevent motor oils and gasoline, fertilizers and pesticides, and other contaminants from entering the water.
  • Re-positioning light poles to a different location to prevent light shining into the water at night. (Night lighting exposes migrating juvenile salmon making it easier for predators to spot them.)

Our communities use public state-owned aquatic lands for important work: for shipping and fishing, docks and piers, for growing shellfish and other uses. By working together with our lessees and stakeholders, DNR can continue to help restore back to health the lands of Puget Sound, lakes and rivers in its care.

Our ecosystems were damaged one step at a time, and now we will continue to work together to restore them—one lease, one restoration, one step at a time.

See more of our milestones and goals