FRIENDS of the San Juans partnered with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Tulalip Tribes to remove creosote pilings and a pier in Barlow Bay off of Lopez Island. This project improves water quality, eelgrass growing conditions, and upper beach habitat at a documented Pacific sand lance spawning site.
Creosote-treated wood was commonly used in marine structures throughout the Salish Sea for more than a century during a period of rapid development and industrial expansion. Like other chemical compounds that were innovations in their time, creosote was broadly used without knowledge of its long-term consequences. It is now known that creosote contains more than 50 carcinogens and is toxic to marine fish and other wildlife.
“Research has shown that herring eggs exposed to creosote have a high mortality rate,” said Tina Whitman, FRIENDS’ Science Director. “Chemicals found in creosote also affect juvenile salmon that migrate through contaminated estuaries by reducing their growth and altering immune function.” Read More »