An area around Ocean Shores on the south central coast have become more toxic free with the removal of approximately 130 creosote-treated pilings that stood offshore and on the tidelands.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has removed the creosote-treated pilings from the Damon Point Peninsula, a beach frequently used by the public.
Funding for the piling removal effort was provided by a $25,000 grant from the Department of Ecology Coastal Protection Fund, a $10,000 grant from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and DNR’s Restoration Program.
Cleanup at Damon Point has been part of a larger community-based effort to restore Grays Harbor.
The Quinault Indian Nation was awarded a $100,000 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Removal Grant to fund inventory and removal of derelict fishing gear within the harbor–including a community-based monitoring and maintenance program.
Project partners matched the awarded grant with an additional $100,000 with further restoration work and surveying. The survey data will be used to produce a comprehensive map of the harbor, helping prioritize piling removal; the Damon Point project is acting as a match toward the NOAA grant.
Creosote is a sticky, tar-like substance that contains more than 300 chemicals, and may be toxic to aquatic species and habitat. Removing the pilings will improve nearshore habitat for forage fish, salmon, and other key species.
(Photos taken by Monica Shoemaker with the DNR)