Port of Olympia Launches Research Vessel to Address Legacy Pollution

Photo: Port of Olympia.

The Port of Olympia has deployed a research vessel to determine the scope of legacy pollution in Budd Inlet.

Launched Jan. 8, the research vessel is tasked with collecting sediment samples in the inlet over the next two months for lab analysis. The results would help the port develop a cleanup plan.

“The Port of Olympia recognizes the importance of addressing legacy pollutants in Budd Inlet,” port Director of Strategic Initiatives and Commission Affairs Camille St. Onge said.

“We understand our responsibility to the community and the environment,” she added. “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.”

The port also said that it is committing to a comprehensive plan to restore the shoreline.

“This initiative aims not only to repair environmental damage but also to create a vibrant community space,” port Director of Environment Programs and Planning Shawn Gilbertson said.

These efforts could also mean an opportunity for economic growth; the project has resulted in a partnership between the port and Evergreen State College that would allow students in the environmental program to have field experience, the port said.

More about the project is available at www.portolympia.com/buddinlet.

By Karen Robes Meeks