Port of Olympia Launches Research Vessel to Address Legacy Pollution

Photo: Port of Olympia.

The Port of Olympia in January embarked on a significant environmental initiative with the launch of a research vessel in Budd Inlet.

As required by the Department of Ecology, the primary focus of the venture is to investigate and address harmful legacy pollutants, including dioxins and furans, in the Inlet’s sediment.

Between January and March, the research vessel, equipped with high-tech technology and a team of experts will, according to the port, “meticulously sample the sediment for later laboratory analysis to identify the extent of the pollutants and develop a comprehensive plan for their removal.”

The proactive approach, the port stated, aligns with its vision to rectify environmental mistakes of the past and foster a healthier ecosystem for the future.

“The Port of Olympia recognizes the importance of addressing legacy pollutants in Budd Inlet,” Port of Olympia Director of Strategic Initiatives and Commission Affairs Camille St. Onge said. “We understand our responsibility to the community and the environment.”

“While we are obligated by the Department of Ecology to conduct this investigation, we want to emphasize that it is also an opportunity for us to right the wrongs of the past and contribute to a cleaner, safer environment for generations to come,” she added.

In addition to removing harmful pollutants from the sediment, the Port of Olympia has committed to a comprehensive restoration plan for the shoreline. The port’s commitment also extends to economic development.

By undertaking these environmental initiatives, Olympia said, it seeks to stimulate economic growth and job opportunities within the community while contributing to the overall well-being of the region.

The port has also established a partnership with Evergreen State College to allow students enrolled in the environmental program to gain invaluable field experience, specifically in the realm of environmental research and restoration efforts.

“By fostering this partnership, the port not only cements its dedication to environmental stewardship but also actively works towards developing the next generation of leaders in this field,” the port said in a statement.

FAQs and more about the project are available at www.portolympia.com/buddinlet.