Port cleanup projects support healthy environment and economy

July 23, 2021 | News

If you moved to Anacortes in the last decade, you might be surprised to learn that our beautiful Seafarers’ Memorial Park was once part of a contaminated property with a long industrial past, including use for lumber and pulp mills and log storage.

The Port of Anacortes, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Ecology and Kimberly-Clark, studied the property and implemented a cleanup action plan in 2008 and 2009. For two years, the Port team worked on the northern and shoreline portions of the property to clean up contaminated soil, remove sediment, demolish massive piles of wood debris, relocate utilities, restore surfaces, replace a small boat launch, and build rock structures to prevent shoreline erosion.

The change from an industrial wasteland to community asset is remarkable, and the work restored public access to this portion of Fidalgo Bay. Seafarers’ Memorial Park opened in 2011 and quickly became an active and beloved space for residents and visitors alike.

But the environmental and recreational benefits are only part of the story: By removing contamination and restoring habitat, the cleanup project also supports the local economy.

“The commercial fishing and whale-watching vessels that dock at the Port of Anacortes rely on clean, fishable waters for their livelihoods,” said Port Environmental Specialist Kevin Anderson. “If we can support strong and healthy ecosystems, we can support strong and healthy maritime commerce for Anacortes and Skagit County.”

The Port of Anacortes is dedicated to stewardship and proud to support a healthy environment and economy for our community—today and for the future.

Learn more about this project and other Port environmental initiatives at www.portofanacortes.com/about-us/environmental-information.

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