To protect contractor and visitor safety, the coastal area of Olympic National Park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove is closed to all public entry.
This closure will allow the Undersea Company of Port Townsend, Washington to safely complete work to remove the 185-ton dock that grounded near Mosquito Creek last December.
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 offshore islands.
The dock’s location lies within the boundaries of both the park and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The contractors will use concrete saws and heavy equipment to cut the dock into sections and a heavy-lift helicopter to move the sections off the beach to an inland staging area.
“Human safety is our top priority,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “Moving heavy loads with large helicopters is inherently risky and to protect both visitors and employees, the area will remain closed until the dock is completely removed.”
The contractor plans to complete removal efforts by early April, depending on weather and tidal conditions.
Additional information about marine debris and the dock removal is available on the NOAA Marine Debris Website, http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris, and Forks Docks Incident Website, http://marinedebris.wa.gov/incidents/ForksDock.html. Photos and video of the dock are available in the Washington Marine Debris Task Force photo gallery, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecologywa/sets.