DNR CREOSOTE REMOVAL PROGRAM
DNR is leading efforts throughout Puget Sound to remove creosote-treated debris from our marine and estuarine waters. Projects include removing debris that washes onto area beaches, lagoons, and estuaries, as well as removing structures and pilings that line the nearshore and no longer serve a function.
In both cases, these creosote-treated materials continue to leach chemical compounds into beach and marine sediments causing toxic conditions for organisms that live in and use these areas. The presence of unused structures also blocks sediment transport and allows for unwanted shading along the critical nearshore, displacing what could be valuable vegetated habitat.
Removal of creosote-treated wood from Puget Sound has been a major focus of DNR's Restoration Program. Since 2004, DNR has partnered with entities such as Marine Resources Committees, WSU BeachWatchers, People for Puget Sound, Washington State Parks, The Nature Conservancy, and the Northwest Straits Commission, to identify and remove creosote-treated debris. The effort began in the north Sound and has since expanded Sound-wide.
DNR and its partners have trained hundreds of citizen volunteers to identify and inventory debris using GPS technology. Data gathered has been used to determine removal locations based on the largest accumulations coupled with habitat features, access issues, and partnership possibilities.
Early funding came from DNRs Restoration Program matched with MRC funds, Coastal Protection Funds and NOAA grants, as well as countless hours of in-kind work from volunteers and local area parks staff.
In 2006, additional funding became available through the Puget Sound Initiative to clean up and restore the Sound to health by 2020. This opportunity allowed DNR to focus on the source by starting to remove derelict piers, docks, and pilings which were aging, breaking apart in storms, and floating from beach to beach throughout the Sound leaving creosote residue in its wake.
Creosote-removal Projects by year
| Total Tons of Creosote Removed From Puget Sound Beaches|| 2,167|
| Total Tons of Pilings and other treated dock materials|| 11,560|
| Total Number of Pilings Removed || 13,292|
| Total Area of Overwater Structure Removed|| 202,142 sq ft. (almost 4 football fields!!)|