Eddon Boat Park Ribbon Cutting February 28th
Gig Harbor, Wash. February 11th, 2014 – On February 28th, the City of Gig Harbor will host an opening celebration and ribbon cutting at Eddon Boat Park, located at 3805 Harborview Drive in downtown Gig Harbor. The event will celebrate the nearly 10-year project that includes completion of an extensive environmental cleanup, restoration of the waterfront and beautification of the park. The event begins at 3 pm.
Eddon Boatyard was originally constructed in the 1940s. Decades of boat repair and maintenance activities contaminated the site. Now that the City of Gig Harbor has completed the environmental cleanup, the Washington State Department of Ecology is removing the site from Ecology’s Hazardous Sites List (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/tcp/mtca_gen/hazsites.html). Sites must go through environmental cleanup and meet state standards before they can be removed from the list.
“Cleanup does more than remove toxic substances,” said Rebecca Lawson, Ecology’s regional manager for the Toxics Cleanup Program. “This is an excellent example of what comes after a cleanup – a site that can be put back into productive use for the benefit of the community.”
In 2004, Gig Harbor residents voted to save nearly 300 feet of waterfront known as the old Eddon Boatyard, and brick home, including its traditional use as a boatbuilding facility. A Washington State Heritage Capital Projects Grant awarded $1 million in 2006 to preserve, and restore the building and another $230,000 in 2008 to reconstruct the pier. The final phase expected to begin in 2015 will restore the marine railways so that non-profit tenant, Gig Harbor BoatShop, can facilitate authentic public programming and shipwright training focused on traditional boat-building skills.
Formal cleanup of the park began in 2008 with the removal of a twelve foot tall creosote piling bulkhead and contaminated soils and sediments. Less contaminated sediments were covered with a cap of sand and gravel. Monitoring of the sediments continued for five years to ensure the cap remained in place. Contaminants that were cleaned up at the site included heavy metals, heavy oil, tributyltin (TBT), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
“With everyone working together, we were able to both look to the future enjoyment of the site and preserve an important part of Gig Harbor’s history -- while also protecting its future in terms of human health and the health of the local ecosystem,” Lawson said.
Cleanup Funding Sources
As part of the remediation project, the Department of Ecology provided the City of Gig Harbor with a $230,900 remedial action grant for permitting, developing the cleanup and monitoring plans, and doing the work. Ecology also provided technical assistance to the City at the early stages of cleanup through Ecology's Voluntary Cleanup Program. The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provided $218,000 for removal of the creosote-treated bulkhead and placement of gravel to improve habitat. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided seed funding in the form of a $400,000 Brownfield grant.
Additional Site Improvements
Work to regrade the shoreline for community use was completed by Pivetta Construction in the fall of 2012. It required adding a gravel/sand fish mix below the waterline to restore the natural slope of the beach. Upland improvements were completed by Sealevel Bulkhead Builders this past December. Their work included regrading the slope, and adding shoreline driftwood and native grasses above the waterline to restore the beach. Two ADA accessible viewing areas were created that includes access to the Public Art. A concrete stairway next to the pier provides improved access for kayakers.
A Percent for the Arts award from the Washington State Arts Commission funded new Public Art at the park. The three large granite “mussels” were sculpted by artist Verena Schwippert.
Gig Harbor BoatShop is now housed in the historic Eddon boat building. The non-profit organization was created to preserve, interpret, and perpetuate the working waterfront. The public is invited to come, see, and experience boat building at the working facility. Hours and more information can be found at www.gigharborboatshop.org. The float at the Eddon Boat pier offers two-hour moorage to visiting boaters for public access to the harbor and a lifejacket loaner station. The Boatyard House (brick house) has an outdoor deck that is open to the public. Once the grasses are well- established (sometime in May), the temporary fencing that surrounds the site will be removed and the general public will be allowed access to the new park and beach area.
“What began under Mayor Chuck Hunter’s leadership required an enormous collaborative effort with our state and federal agencies, contractors, dedicated individuals, and city staff,” said Mayor Jill Guernsey. “It’s the kind of project that makes the Harbor so successful and unique.”
For more information on visiting Gig Harbor: www.gigharborguide.com.
For more information on the cleanup see Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Website: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=3419