Large restoration project will clean up marine waters of eastern Jefferson county

Photo of pilings in Quilcene Bay in Hood Canala.
Old, creosote-treated pilings at Point Whitney slated for removal. Photo: DNR

This week, DNR will start removing nearly 900 derelict, toxic, creosote-treated pilings and 5,000 square feet of old, dilapidated dock and other structures along a 40-mile stretch of shoreline in eastern Jefferson County.

Map of removal sites. Click for larger version.
Map of removal sites. Click for larger version.

The project involves seven sites, starting just north of the Port Townsend Channel and moving southward to Point Whitney in Hood Canal.

One of the structures scheduled for removal is the old 4,200 square-foot Southpoint ferry dock, which served the ferry run from Lofall in Kitsap county.  This site will involve the most work, with contractors removing the old dock, a timber trestle, the wing walls—the v-shaped structures that guide ferries into the landing docks—and all the associated creosote-treated pilings.

Why is DNR removing old creosote-treated materials from Puget Sound?

Have you ever walked a beach on a hot, sunny summer day and caught a whiff of something toxic-smelling, wafting in the air? Most likely, somewhere lying on that beach was the remnant of an old creosote-treated piling or dock that broke loose and ended up on your beach. BTW: Please avoid this beach debris. It smells bad for a reason…

Creosote contains hundreds of chemicals, some of which are highly toxic. Originally used as a wood preservative and to fend off insect infestations, creosote was certainly effective at doing its job. Unfortunately, the toxic chemicals from creosote pilings and structures continue to leach into our marine waters long after the useful lifespan of these materials.

DNR is leading the effort to remove creosote-treated materials throughout Puget Sound. Projects include removing old pilings and structures that are still in place as well as the debris that washes onto to our beaches, lagoons, and estuaries.

More information about the Jefferson County project:

Learn more about DNR’s Creosote Removal Program:

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