By: Dianna Parker, Communications Specialist
This week, workers began dismantling a 65-foot, 185-ton dock that washed up on a remote coastline in Washington in December. The dock, which is beached within the boundaries of Olympic National Park and NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, was ripped away from a port in Japan during the March 2011 tsunami. NOAA has contracted The Undersea Company of Port Townsend, Wash., to lead the removal.
The contractor plans to complete removal efforts by the end of March, depending on weather and tidal conditions. To protect contractor and visitor safety while the salvage work is underway, the coastal area of Olympic National Park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove is closed to all public entry. In addition, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary regulations prohibit aircraft from disturbing wildlife by flying below 2,000 feet within one nautical mile of the coast or the offshore islands.
The concrete, Styrofoam, and steel structure is similar to a dock that washed up on Agate Beach in Oregon last summer. According to the Consulate-General of Japan, three of the four floating docks located at the Misawa Fishing Port washed away when the tsunami struck. Fishermen reportedly spotted the third missing dock floating near Oahu, north of Molokai, in Hawaii in September. It has not been located since.
For more photos of the removal operation, visit the Washington Department of Ecology’s Flickr page.