Cleanup of derelict vessel underway

SEATTLE – An opportunity for media, agency executives and other interested parties to visit the site of the Coast Guard-monitored cleanup and removal of the 141-foot derelict fishing vessel Heron located at 100 E Marine View Dr. in Everett, Wash., will take place Wednesday from 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Global Diving and Salvage has been hired to remove all pollutants from the Heron and dismantle the grounded vessel from the Snohomish River. The Heron was first discovered to be holed and discharging oil in 2005.

Before the cleanup and destruction of the Heron could progress, an Osrpey nest was discovered at the top of the vessel’s main mast. Through the cooperation of multiple agencies and stake-holders, the top of the mast was cut off and relocated to another part of the property prior to the Osprey nesting season. The nest is currently occupied by a pair of Osprey with two young.

In March of 2005, approximately 38,000 gallons of oily water was removed from the Heron and in February, 2006, an additional 80,000 gallons of oily water was removed. It became apparent that the derelict vessel had become a waste oil dump site and would pose an ongoing threat to the environment if left in the current location.

Since the newest cleanup effort began in September, over 22,000 gallons of oily water has been removed. Other pollutants such as bunker fuel, hydraulic fuel, paints and solvents will also be removed from the vessel.

The cleanup and removal of the Heron is scheduled to be completed later this month.

Under the authority provided in the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Coast Guard may remove or destroy a derelict vessel that poses a substantial pollution threat.

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