Olympia, WA - The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has removed approximately 130 creosote-treated pilings from the Damon Point Peninsula. The point, located outside of Ocean Shores, is a frequently used public beach that will now be free of the treated pilings that stood offshore and on the tidelands.
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.
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Partners in action
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. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the chemicals of most concern found in a creosote pile. These chemicals leach from pilings and beach debris and accumulate in nearby water and sediments that may be toxic to aquatic species and habitat. The objective of this project is to reduce sources of PAHs in the water and sediment by removing piles treated with creosote. Removal of these piles will improve nearshore habitat for forage fish, salmon, and other key species.