Presentation Abstract

Remnant creosote treated wood products and other large marine debris are major contributing factors to decreased ecosystem health within the Salish Sea. The wood preservative creosote is a known carcinogen and a significant source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These chemicals persist in sediments and lead to increased forage fish spawn mortality. PAH impacts are amplified through bioaccumulation and directly impact native salmon runs and resident Orca Whales. There is an estimated 650,000 gallons of creosote currently leaching from the remaining 16,000 creosote treated pilings. The hazardous and technical nature of removing creosote logs and large debris does not lend itself to the capabilities of most state and local agencies, community groups, NGO’s, and other volunteer-based removal efforts. In response, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Aquatic Lands Restoration Program has developed a program to partner with these groups and eradicate creosote from the Salish Sea while providing rapid response and removal of large debris. Through a broad network of partnerships, specialized equipment, and training, the DNR has become the lead entity for creosote and large debris removal and disposal throughout the state. Since 2004, the DNR has developed Best Management Practices for removal by land, sea, and air. To date, the program has removed over 52 million pounds of marine debris and 296,922 sq. /ft. of overwater structures. With an estimated 35 million pounds of creosote remaining in the ecosystem, the DNR is exploring new technology and partnerships to reach new shoreline property owners and respond to reports of debris from the public.

Session Title

Plastic Pollution and Marine Debris in the Salish Sea: Monitoring, Education, and Management and Policy Solutions

Keywords

Creosote, Large debris, Marine debris

Conference Track

SSE13: Plastics

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE13-416

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:45 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 3:00 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 2:45 PM Apr 5th, 3:00 PM

The heavy load: addressing creosote and large debris in the Salish Sea

Remnant creosote treated wood products and other large marine debris are major contributing factors to decreased ecosystem health within the Salish Sea. The wood preservative creosote is a known carcinogen and a significant source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These chemicals persist in sediments and lead to increased forage fish spawn mortality. PAH impacts are amplified through bioaccumulation and directly impact native salmon runs and resident Orca Whales. There is an estimated 650,000 gallons of creosote currently leaching from the remaining 16,000 creosote treated pilings. The hazardous and technical nature of removing creosote logs and large debris does not lend itself to the capabilities of most state and local agencies, community groups, NGO’s, and other volunteer-based removal efforts. In response, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Aquatic Lands Restoration Program has developed a program to partner with these groups and eradicate creosote from the Salish Sea while providing rapid response and removal of large debris. Through a broad network of partnerships, specialized equipment, and training, the DNR has become the lead entity for creosote and large debris removal and disposal throughout the state. Since 2004, the DNR has developed Best Management Practices for removal by land, sea, and air. To date, the program has removed over 52 million pounds of marine debris and 296,922 sq. /ft. of overwater structures. With an estimated 35 million pounds of creosote remaining in the ecosystem, the DNR is exploring new technology and partnerships to reach new shoreline property owners and respond to reports of debris from the public.