Tribute to Edmonds Oil Dock

September 8th, 2008

One of my favorite dive sites in the Pacific Northwest is about to be destroyed, so I went diving there recently with a couple good buddies and shot the last photos I’ll ever take at this gem of a dive site. A long story short, Governor Christine Gregoire’s Puget Sound Initiative aims to remove pilings in our waters containing the chemical “creosote”. But, there are several red flags pertaining to the selection of this site, among hundreds to choose from, since this particular set of creosote pilings happens to be home to an abundant amount of local marine life.

Creosote, a distillate of coal tar often containing more than 300 chemicals, was used as a wood preservative during much of the past century for such things as telephone poles, railroad ties, piers, docks and floats.

Chemicals in treated wood materials, such as those on beaches or old dock pilings, can be harmful and even toxic to marine species, say Resources officials.


So, on the surface it looks like this is being done to protect marine species. However, as you can see from the photos I just took of this site, removing these pilings wipes out some of the richest marine habitat in the region. Interestingly, there are literally thousands upon thousands of pilings in the Puget Sound region containing creosote that are not being removed.

For the full scoop on this story, see this thread at Northwest Dive Club. Click the photo below to visit the slideshow.

Edmonds Oil Dock, an abundance of life.

Entry Filed under: Puget Sound

  • 1
    September 9th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Well done,buddy! Amazing shots of the critters that dwell at EOD, and I agree with the tribute! You are my hero you know…

  • 2
    October 15th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    thanks for the effort. I’ve made several calls today to try and find out what environmental impact study has been done for this project, if there has been a public comment and proper public notice for it and so on. I am pretty convinced that from the things i’ve seen there diving over the last 14 years, that more damage will be done by removing the pillings than leaving them there. there are of course aposing stakeholders in this: the diving community, the ecologists and the community of edmonds, the WA ferry system, The DNR and the DOE. I highly recommend that people let their voices heard throught the proper channels… it’s never too late to stop the wheels from turning if enough people get involved.


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