See what West Seattle underwater cleanup turned up

The photos and report are courtesy of Seattle Dive Tours:

On December 1st, more than 30 volunteers braved the cold temperatures and the forecasts of snow showers to protect marine wildlife from dangerous underwater debris in Puget Sound.

SR3 and Seattle Dive Tours coordinated the event to clean under the pier at Seacrest Marina Park that is generally off limits to divers. The upper pier was closed to fishermen and spectators to ensure the safety of the volunteers.

Divers entered the water in three shifts to remove marine debris lurking below the surface of the Salish Sea. Additional volunteers on the dock sorted through the debris and documented the weight and types of debris found. This data will be uploaded to larger, worldwide datasets in order to reveal the greatest threats around the world.

Over 420 pounds of debris were removed in this short cleanup! This included over 300 fishing lures, five lighting systems used for squid fishing, four traffic cones, six abandoned crab pots, a lot of plastic cutlery, many mobile phones, and multiple tires.

This event could not have been done without the partnership of our hardy volunteers, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the King County Water Taxi (Department of Metro Transportation, Marine Division). We look forward to continuing and expanding this event in the future.

This video from a volunteer participant includes a longer look at what was brought up:

14 Replies to "See what West Seattle underwater cleanup turned up"

  • Junction December 4, 2019 (3:22 pm)

    Great work by a lot of dedicated volunteers! Thank you. 

  • KM December 4, 2019 (3:58 pm)

    Thanks so much to these awesome volunteers!        

  • MIchelle December 4, 2019 (4:26 pm)

    Awesome work hauling that junk out of our waters! Keep it clean, Seattle! 

  • Also John December 4, 2019 (4:49 pm)

    That’s a lot of garbage collected in such a small square-foot area.  Thanks to the volunteers for cleaning up the mess created by the many that don’t care at all about our environment.

  • Pilsner December 4, 2019 (5:06 pm)

    Haha, at first I thought the lures were needles.

  • Craig December 4, 2019 (5:07 pm)

    Thanks for helping the ecosystem! There should be a permanent sign, updated yearly with totals, at the dock showing the fishermen that were 300 lures, squid rigs, and fishing line feet pulled by by volunteers.  It’s good for them to know these things and hopefully inspire them to clean up and pack out trash when possible. I get that the lures weren’t tossed into the water as trash, likely snags cut free, but it’s good to share awareness of our collective impact on the thing we love and depend on. NB: I’m a WS fisherman, mostly at Lincoln Park. 

    • Ray December 4, 2019 (7:19 pm)

      I’m betting Lincoln Park will have the same snagged lures (buzz bombs). I found 3 earlier this summer during low tide while fishing for salmon. And that was just in the area I was fishing. Maybe there should be a cleanup there as well? 

  • Mj December 4, 2019 (5:52 pm)

    Car tires?

    • Earl December 6, 2019 (12:06 pm)

      Bumpers on the side of the pier? Just speculating.

  • Fisher Smith December 4, 2019 (6:57 pm)

    I want to know where we can upcycle those squid jigs for reuse. Any info on a pickup location or where they went? If you saw the local news those squid are the best eating specimen for lack of pollutants we can get out there!

    • WSB December 4, 2019 (7:10 pm)

      You could contact Seattle Dive Tours to ask about the disposition. Their website is linked in the first line.

  • Marcee Stone-Vekich December 4, 2019 (7:23 pm)

    Well done! Many thanks!

  • bolo December 4, 2019 (9:39 pm)

    If there’s that many fishing lures and lines down there there must be many lead weights as well. Does anybody know the toxicity of all that lead down there on the sea floor? I know it has been regulated out of many common items (house paint, plumbing materials, gasoline, etc.) already, in an effort to minimize poisoning the general public.

  • Pat Youngblood December 5, 2019 (3:44 pm)

    Thank you to Seattle for starting something I pray gets bigger every year. Let’s clean our oceans of everything that is killing  our marine animals and fish. 

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