Another cleanup: Cables, blocks left by protest barge in dive zone to be removed Monday

8:38 PM: Before the “Solar Pioneer” protest barge moved to its spot off Don Armeni Boat Ramp, you might recall, it originally anchored further east, off Seacrest. That brought some concerns about possible danger to divers and damage to wildlife, so it moved; “Diver Laura” James was involved with making that happen, and now reports that the blocks and cables left behind in the “Cove 2” area will be removed tomorrow. You’ll see them in her video, embedded above (it has music and explanatory captioning). She explains: “Seacrest Park Cove 2 is the most popular dive site in Seattle, home to the world’s largest octopus and numerous other varieties of marine life. When the tide changed, the cable attached from the anchor blocks to the barge overhead swept across the underwater landscape, damaging the fragile habitat and destroying the homes of underwater creatures. When it was noted that damage was occurring, the cables were dropped and the barge was moved further towards Duwamish Head. The blocks and cable are slated for removal on Monday by Global Diving & Salvage, Inc., thanks to Washington State Department of Natural Resources, GUE Seattle, concerned individuals … and the Northwest Dive Community at large, who took note and voiced concern.” A spokesperson for those responsible for the barge told The Seattle Times last month that “We clearly didn’t have any intention of doing damage to a dive park. It was an honest mistake.” We’re checking on who’s covering the cleanup cost.

9:01 PM: We won’t be able to get a direct answer on that any sooner than tomorrow but there’s more backstory in this post on the Northwest Dive Club website (intended primarily to warn divers away from the area tomorrow, but also explaining why).

12 Replies to "Another cleanup: Cables, blocks left by protest barge in dive zone to be removed Monday"

  • Jim P. June 14, 2015 (8:46 pm)

    “When the tide changed, the cable attached from the anchor blocks to the barge overhead swept across the underwater landscape, damaging the fragile habitat and destroying the homes of underwater creatures. ”

    Snort, what a surprise. You’d think self-styled “protectors of the earth” would be on the alert for that and do a bit more to actually protect things. Practicality is not often connected to this sort of thing though, going all the way back to the Hippies in the 60’s who often trashed entire parks with their “Happenings”.

    If one of Shell’s ships had done this, they’d be rioting over it and demanding criminal investigations.

    “We’re checking on who’s covering the cleanup cost.”

    Please keep us up to date on that as I will bet it’s everyone *but* our happy “nature lovers” who will suddenly become very anonymous and’/or scarce.

    • WSB June 14, 2015 (8:55 pm)

      No, they’re not anonymous and scarce and haven’t been. You can find them right off Don Armeni, in fact, as well as online, etc. – I just checked with Laura and she doesn’t have firsthand details on the cost but the barge sponsors were working with them from the start in terms of leaving the cables rather than picking them up, once told that would do the least additional damage. More backstory here in this advisory warning divers to steer clear of the area tomorrow (I’m adding the link above) –

  • Connie June 14, 2015 (8:59 pm)

    “We’re checking on who’s covering the cleanup cost.”
    There is only one responsible party for this damage so I sincerely hope there is no question who will pay for the removal.
    As to Jim P. you might also look at the Don Armeni trashed parking lot and grass area to further your argument. This protest group has done nothing to further their cause by the multitude of less than well thought out actions including the above mentioned along with the ridiculous level of noise that has come from the barge being disruptive to the environs not to mention the entire neighborhood.

    Thank you again to Diver Laura for your concern and actions to protect this fagile ecosystem.

  • Mark June 14, 2015 (9:25 pm)

    Both Foss and Shell have contributed to the non profit organization that is trying to repair the damage done by the Solar Pioneer.

  • ChefJoe June 14, 2015 (9:34 pm)

    That’s some interesting info in your link WSB, it sounds like Foss may also be one of the parties helping to clean up the mess/paying for the commercial salvage clean-up.

    “We (GUE Seattle) consider the collateral damage to be a direct result of the activists protesting Shell’s Polar Pioneer presence at Terminal 5 and we therefore feel that it is the responsibility of all parties involved to help fund this project.

    GUE Seattle contacted Foss Maritime and Global Diving and Salvage in Seattle to assist in the cleanup. “

  • Ray June 14, 2015 (9:41 pm)

    We are so blessed to have global warriors in our own backyard that fight against damage to marine environments by big oil interests and do so by doing their own damage not to the arctic, but here in our own local habitats.

    Good going guys!!!!!

    Now pony up the full cost for cleanup. It is the least that you can do with the damage you have done in the water, in the park itself, and to all of our daily commutes.

  • Mel June 14, 2015 (9:52 pm)

    Let the self-righteous snark begin!

  • Justin June 14, 2015 (10:02 pm)

    That barge is an unwelcome eyesore, and the loud & disruptive music they blare from their speakers is also unwelcome. I hope it leaves soon.

  • Buck June 14, 2015 (10:51 pm)

    I would like to personally thank Shell and Foss for the much needed work they provided myself, my brothers and sisters at Local 19, and many others. They were extremely professional and courteous to the workers and protesters, and they went above and beyond the norm to take care of their workers and their immediate environment on T5. T5 has never been cleaner! I, and I’m sure many others, welcome you back in October with open arms.
    Thank You !

  • Sadtaco June 14, 2015 (11:17 pm)

    I used to be very liberal but now consider myself middle of the road, because of the hypocritical nature of protestors like this. Shell didn’t intend to cause any environmental damage to the environment, and neither did BP. But it happened so the Solar Pioneer could dwell and carry on in a petroleum based world. Solar panels, yup those were manufactured with the resources of oil.

  • Mike June 14, 2015 (11:59 pm)

    Thank you Diver Laura for getting this into the public eye and initiating a response to clean it up. Even if those responsible have not paid for the cleanup, I appreciate that people have taken initiative to do what’s right and get it cleaned up.

  • alki jack June 15, 2015 (9:16 am)

    What puzzles me is how the barge discharges its sewage. Generally barges do not have holding tanks for waste water and, living across the street, we have not seen it go anywhere to empty tanks. Hopefully the sewage hasn’t just been emptied into the bay. Perhaps the Coast Guard should do a check, as they do on private water craft.

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