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Removal of creosote-treated pilings in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
Removal of creosote-treated pilings in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Removal of creosote-treated pilings may assist herring recovery

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Thousands of abandoned wood pilings — the ghosts of piers and docks past — are located throughout Puget Sound. Most of them are treated with creosote, a toxic chemical used to preserve wood that contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a class of chemicals that are also associated with oil spills and burning of fossil fuels.

While creosote-treated pilings are used less for construction of new piers, scientists at two state agencies are now studying the impacts of existing pilings on herring and shellfish populations along with the effectiveness of removal projects.

Read the story by Megan Feddern in Salish Sea Currents.