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.
Entry Filed under: Puget Sound