2012 Jobs Now Act funding at work: Anacortes firm helps DNR remove old creosote floats from Burrows Island

Creosote-treated floats
These two large creosote-treated floats washed ashore on Burrows Island near Anacortes. Photo: Jason Wilkinson/DNR.

Last week, DNR led the removal of two large creosote-treated floats, each weighing about six to seven tons, from a beach on Burrows Island, west of Anacortes. The actual removal was done by Neptune Marine out of Anacortes. The project is expected to cost $8,000 and was funded by the 2012 Jobs Now Act, large debris removal fund.

Each of the two floats measured 10-feet 3-inches long by 6-feet wide by 3-1/2-feet height. These floats may be part of a large float system that supported a ‘submarine net,’ which once stretched from Fort Flagler to Port Townsend during WWII to prevent submarines from entering Puget Sound.

These floats turn up from time to time in the north Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula. Washington State Parks has a float displayed at Fort Flagler State Park with interpretative information near pilings that were also part of the structure.

The floats will be hauled to a special landfill site in eastern Washington that is certified to take toxic materials, such as creosote.

Why is DNR removing this creosote debris?

Lowering the old float onto the dock.
Crewmembers help lower the first of the two old floats down on the dock in Anacortes. Photo: Jason Wilkinson/DNR.

Tons of creosote-treated wood wash up on beaches and shores of fresh and marine waters throughout Washington State. This debris often breaks loose from aging docks and other structures and washes onto other beaches. Creosote contains more than 300 chemicals, many of which are toxic, and pose a threat to human and environmental health and safety.

DNR is steward of 2.6 million acres of state-owned aquatic lands—including the bedlands under Puget Sound and the coast, many beaches, and navigable natural lakes and rivers. These aquatic lands are managed as a public trust for the people of Washington State. DNR’s Aquatic Resources Division manages the Creosote Removal Program to rid the environment of toxic substances that threaten fish, wildlife, and public safety.

Learn more about why creosote-treated materials are dangerous to the environment and human health.

View more photos.

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. Of the $37 million, $200,000 is to be used specifically for removing large debris.

Learn more about how DNR works to restore, enhance, create, and protect healthy ecological conditions in freshwater, saltwater and estuarine aquatic systems through partnerships with agencies and organizations on DNR’s Aquatic Restoration Program webpage.

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