Tuesday, March 24, 2009

City of Tacoma's Environmental Services educates boaters at "Clean, Green Boating Fair"

Over the last decade, the City of Tacoma, in partnership with responsible parties and property owners, conducted a historic cleanup of heavily polluted waterways surrounding downtown Tacoma. Sediments contaminated from 100 years of industrial activity were removed or capped in place, and fragile marine habitats restored.

The cleanup was completed in 2006, and now the Thea Foss Waterway and surrounding areas of Commencement Bay thrive with new life and pedestrian friendly attractions.

Keeping waterways clean
Today the City’s Environmental Services helps prevent re-pollution of the area by monitoring Foss Waterway sediment, handling complaints about spills and illicit dumping of chemicals, inspecting commercial properties, and conducting public education to raise awareness among Tacoma residents of how our actions affect our watershed and the quality of our local lakes, streams and Puget Sound.

At the "Clean, Green Boating Fair," boaters can learn more about their own role in protecting and restoring Foss Waterway and all of Puget Sound. Thousands of boaters taking a hands-on, preventive action approach can make the Sound a better place for a multitude of extraordinary wildlife – otter families, salmon, oysters, starfish, blue herons – and for the millions of people who enjoy the beauty and recreational and commercial resources in our waterways.

City of Tacoma Environmental Services "green" boating recommendations include:
  • Perform boat maintenance out of the water in approved facilities that capture waste water and comply with environmental standards.
  • Use a "Shop-Vac" to vacuum up dust when sanding.
  • Use a drip cloth when painting.
  • Use a work barge to capture debris when handling any exterior maintenance.
  • Immediately call 911 or (253) 383-2429, Tacoma’s 24-hour Water Pollution Hotline operated by Citizens for a Healthy Bay, if you spot a concentrated oil sheen on the water's surface or experience strong fuel odors around an oil sheen.

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