Derelict dock and pilings to be removed from Fox Island; work starts next week

Aerial view of Fox Island
This old dock and pilings (outlined in red) will be removed from Hale Passage off Fox Island because they are leaching toxic creosote into the water. Photo: Washington Department of Ecology, Coastal Atlas.

DNR begins work next week to remove a derelict ferry dock, 182 pilings and other dilapidated, creosote-tainted structures from the northern and northeastern waters off Fox Island. The first phase of the project starts Tuesday (September 17) when workers will begin removing an old ferry dock once used by the ‘mosquito’ fleet, the nickname given to the swarms of small steamboats that once plied Puget Sound waters.

The dock is one of several structures along Fox Island in Hale Passage that contain creosote. Once a popular wood preservative, creosote is a toxic substance that contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other pollutants. These highly toxic chemicals are harmful to marine life, including salmon and the forage fish that they eat.

Funding for the Fox Island creosote-removal project comes from the Jobs Now Act, enacted by the 2012 Washington Legislature. All work will be completed by mid-October. (Note: work schedules are subject to change due to weather and other considerations.)

See the project sites on a map

Read more about DNR aquatic restoration and clean-up projects.

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