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Log lift off on Lopez

A helicopter will be lifting creosote logs from these two preserves to be sent to a hazardous waste landfill. - Contributed photo/ Land Bank staff photo
A helicopter will be lifting creosote logs from these two preserves to be sent to a hazardous waste landfill.
— image credit: Contributed photo/ Land Bank staff photo

Plenty of birds fly around the Land Bank’s Fisherman Bay Preserves at the Spit and Week’s Wetland, but none are quite as large as the “bird” that will show up on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

A helicopter will be lifting creosote logs from these two preserves to be sent to a hazardous waste landfill.

The State Department of Natural Resources will be supervising a crew from the Puget Sound Corps in addition to the helicopter, all funded by the Department of Ecology. Members of the crew will carry smaller pieces of treated wood to a container, and carefully cut the larger logs into manageable pieces before loading.

Lisa Kaufman has overseen creosote removal projects at the DNR for six years, and delights in cleaning up sensitive habitat. In addition to the two preserves, Odlin Park will take part in the project along with neighboring private landowners.

This win-win solution came about when several volunteers asked the Land Bank about removing the creosote logs. Some research and a few phone calls turned up the possibility at the DNR as their second removal project for the year.

Though creosote has been banned from new marine construction, old docks and pilings break down, float off, and collect in pockets during winter storms.

They can leach toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into the ground and water for years. Over six hundred lineal feet of logs have drifted onto the Spit alone.

The Spit Preserve will be closed to the public during the cleanup on the week of Oct. 17. There will be a walk, 3 - 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 23.

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