Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Seattle Port to Survey Recreational Fishermen

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle says that people who fish or collect shellfish from the Lower Duwamish Waterway may be invited to take part in a voluntary survey over the next year to tell researchers about their fishing habits.

The port, in conjunction with King County, the City of Seattle and the Boeing Co., are conducting the survey at the direction of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology in order to learn how to better protect people who collect and eat seafood from the Duwamish Waterway.

Through the fall of 2015, staff from ECOSS, a south Seattle nonprofit, will approach fishermen along the waterway to ask questions about catching and eating fish and shellfish. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Surveyors won’t ask for fishing license information, and information gathered from fishermen will remain anonymous.

Researchers say they hope the survey results will support better communication with communities and guide outreach to help fishers make healthy choices about catching and eating seafood in the years leading up to, during and following a Superfund cleanup. The Environmental Protection Agency listed a five-mile segment of the river as a federal Superfund site in 2001 because of contaminants in the waterway sediments.

Early cleanup efforts by King County, City of Seattle, Port of Seattle and Boeing began in 2004 and are expected to reduce contaminant levels in waterway sediments by 50 percent even before Superfund cleanup begins several years from now. These “early action” cleanups will be completed in 2015.

Additional information about the survey and cleanup is available at http://yosemite.epa.gov/r10/cleanup.nsf/sites/lduwamish