John LaSpina sent that photo this morning — sunrise over the industry-lined Duwamish, with Mount Rainier in the background, hours before today’s Duwamish River Festival began. We saved it, knowing we would drop by the festival this afternoon:
Boat tours were offered, along with kayaking (we spotted the famous Alki Kayak Tours van on the street) from festival home base at Duwamish Waterway Park (map). Though that’s in South Park, the river is West Seattle’s eastern border, and nothing hit that home more than this signboard we spotted in the Environmental Protection Agency booth:
The folks there say that was just made up this week, as part of their public-information campaign about the cleanup, one of many past/present/future along the polluted waterway. The official address of the “Lockheed West Seattle Superfund site” detailed on that board is 3443 West Marginal Way (here’s a map); the timeline on the board displayed today says “construction” as part of the site cleanup is set for 2011. The site was added to the Superfund list about a year and a half ago; it has an official EPA subsite with buckets of information, including the official March 2007 news release that says in part:
Historic industrial practices at this former shipyard released contaminants into the bay, including metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and petroleum products. An NPL listing notifies the public that EPA believes a site requires further study and possible cleanup under EPAâ€™s Superfund program.
The Lockheed West Seattle site is one among several other contaminated sediment sites in the Harbor Island area that require remediation. Successful cleanups have already been completed at the Todd Shipyard facility and another Lockheed shipyard. At these sites, 330,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments were dredged and removed from the sites, 7800 pilings were removed, and over 5 acres of fish-friendly inter-tidal habitat were created. Sediment cleanup projects like these are a significant part of the EPA’s continuing efforts to the remove toxins from Puget Sound.
In addition to information about Duwamish cleanups, plus the boating and kayaking we mentioned, today’s festival also offered information on everything from “clean car washes” to keeping pollutants away from storm drains to kids’ activities, including a bouncer — sporting the face of, of course, aquatic cartoon star SpongeBob SquarePants. Then as we left the park after browsing the booths, steel drummer Stanley Alleyne launched into a tune that seemed to fit: “Let Your Love Flow.”