Creosote Pilings in the Snohomish River Estuary
In 2019, the Snohomish County MRC initiated a project to develop a prioritized list of independent pilings in the Snohomish River estuary to target for future removal. The MRC is interested in facilitating piling removal as a habitat action primarily due to the water quality and sediment quality impacts that creosote-treated pilings can have in the aquatic environment. Independent pilings are single or clustered pilings in the estuary that are not associated with a dock, marina, or bulkhead.
Multiple agencies have jurisdictions within the Snohomish River estuary. Because of the complex nature of this area, the MRC convened a stakeholder committee consisting of representatives from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Snohomish County, Tulalip Tribes, City of Everett, Port of Everett, and City of Marysville. The MRC’s objective was to create a shared understanding of the quantity and distribution of pilings in the Snohomish River estuary and identify those pilings determined to be high priority for removal. Ultimately, the goal of this information gathering and analysis process is to enable the appropriate agency to address pilings within their own jurisdiction.
To support this prioritization project, the MRC hired Environmental Science Associates (ESA). The goal of this effort was to identify piling removal opportunities in the Snohomish River estuary that are most ecologically beneficial and readily implementable by the DNR Creosote Piling Removal Program. The project area for this prioritization effort is the Snohomish River estuary downstream of the Highway 2 crossing, which is located just upstream of where Steamboat Slough splits from the river mainstem.
Click here to learn about the Washington Department of Natural Resources' Creosote Removal Program.
Osprey Nests on Creosote Pilings: Relocation Project
Port Gardner holds claim to the largest osprey nesting colony on the west coast, many of which nest on the creosote pilings in the bay. With the cooperation of the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Pilchuck Audubon Society, the Snohomish County MRC facilitated the installation of five new steel pilings and nest boxes between January 26 and January 30, 2009 to replace those removed during ongoing creosote piling removal efforts. An educational sign was placed at an overlook at Legion Park in Everett detailing the project.