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South Maury Island environmental issues

South Maury Island environmental issues are linked to broader Puget Sound environmental issues. These include concerns regarding declining salmon and forage fish populations, degraded critical marine and shoreline habitats, and threatened species such as the Orca.

Many of these concerns are centered around the new proposed expansion of the South Maury Island gravel site owned by Glacier Northwest.

Gravel Mining on South Maury Island

The primary environmental issue involving Maury Island is Glacier Northwest's proposal to expand their gravel mine on the south end of the island. Glacier Northwest has operated a mine on the island since the 1940s but in 1998 announced their proposal to expand their operation to approximately 7.5 million tons of gravel a year. According to senior executives of Glacier Northwest in a presentation at the University of Washington in April 2005, the expansion of their South Maury Island mine is in the interest of the Pacific Northwest as a whole. They claim Washington uses approximately 75 million tons of gravel and sand per year alone; that’s 7 tons per person, per year. The Seattle/Tacoma area uses 48% of all sand and gravel, making the South Maury Island site centrally located for supplying this demand. They estimate economic growth in the Puget Sound region between 2000-2020 will require an additional 22 million tons of gravel per year. For being an importer of sand of gravel, Washington, and particularly the Seattle/Tacoma area, may benefit from an expansion of local sand and gravel mines. There is also potential for the construction of a third runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport that would require large quantities of sand and gravel. Many people believe that South Maury Island is one of the most sensitive places to mine because of the amount of wildlife the area supports. However, Glacier Northwest claims that mining on the island and barging the gravel off the site will have fewer environmental impacts than would mining somewhere else and transporting the gravel by truck. Grassroots efforts and litigation have managed to postpone the proposed expansion as of yet.

Preserve Our Islands is a volunteer, non-profit organization committed to preserving all aspects of life and the environment on Vashon and Maury Islands. They are opposed to Glacier Northwest's proposal to expand their gravel mine. According to Glacier Northwest's website, they are the largest supplier of aggregate in the Pacific Northwest. Since they have such a high demand, it is imperative for their business to continuously extract aggregate in order to remain the largest supplier. Preserve Our Islands claims that if Glacier Northwest continues to expand, nearly ten percent of Maury Island will be affected. They also argue that the near shore location of the gravel pit will endanger the eelgrass habitat, which is vital for salmon to spawn. Preserve Our Islands also argues that toxins will get in the island's only source of drinking water and therefore affect the residents as well (www.preserveourislands.com). They hope that their grass root efforts will one day defeat Glacier Northwest's expansion.

This threat posed by Glacier NW has stirred response in the government, as well. U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, has pushed measures for economic development, environmental and public safety initiatives throughout Washington, one of which concerns the conservation of Maury Island. Providing approximately $2 million, this bill would contribute to the goal of local organizations, such as POI, to preserve the threatened 250 acres (1 km²) that are home to the state’s largest Madrona forests and expanse of shoreline habitat. By incorporating funds from local, state, and private sources as well, this bill would promote responsible, cost efficient local stewardship (United State Senator Webpage).

Among the key players and community members is former Governor Booth Gardner, also a member of Preserve Our Island. In a presentation given at the University of Washington for the Society and Oceans course 103 (http://www.washington.edu/oue/ucourses/index.html) on April 26th of 2005, Governor Gardner (http://www.preserveourislands.org/POIWeb/Background/News/) expressed his support for POI and his personal philosophy on understanding both sides of the South Maury Island/Glacier NW mining issue and acknowledging the importance of one’s personal view and the opponent’s stance. While he has expressed hopes of the community purchasing the land from Glacier NW in order to stop the expansion, he does recognize the relevance of compromise and the reality of the situation. Gardner was joined by King County Council member (http://www.metrokc.gov/mkcc/members/members.htm) Dow Constantine who has strongly advocated the protection of salmon, expressing the possible negative impacts Glacier NW’s expansion could have on the threatened species. In his view, putting the salmon in further danger would be a step backwards in the policies and funds currently implemented for protection. These are just two examples of the many political and social view points that represent the range of themes pertaining to this issue.

Gravel mining by Glacier Northwest on Maury Island does have some advantages to be considered. Glacier Northwest is a large company with twelve sites other than south Maury Island from which aggregates are mined in Washington and Oregon. Actively mining the Maury Island site would provide numerous jobs (4 jobs, specifically) for people on the island and in surrounding areas while its operations are estimated to continue for the next 20 to 30 years, depending on business and demand (Ron Summers, April 25, 2005). Additionally, the aggregate resources do not produce an excess of waste material when mined, and are therefore beneficial and cost effective for the region. The sand, gravel, and Quarry rock from the Maury Island site would be distributed throughout the Pacific Northwest region. These resources would be used for such things as building roadways and houses, mixing in concrete, and making other products like roof tiles and cement blocks (Glacier Northwest website).

Arsenic contamination

Studies over the past 30 years have shown that the soils on portions of Vashon-Maury Island have elevated concentrations of arsenic, lead, and cadmium, probably due to decades of copper smelter operations in Ruston, Washington, located just south of the southern tip of Vashon Island. When examined by area, the data clearly indicates the most serious arsenic contamination occurred in South Vashon-Maury Island. (King Counth-Public Health) At a public meeting in February, 1999, following the public disclosure of elevated levels on the Lone Star Northwest Gravel Mine site. (The company now is called Glacier NW) The community raised new questions about the level of arsenic contamination for Vashon-Maury Island as a whole.

One risk associated with Glacier Northwest’s plan for expansion involves amassing thousands of tons of arsenic-contaminated soil into a large, plastic container. Due to decades of downwind fallout from the ASARCO copper smelter near Tacoma, the top layer of earth on Maury Island is laden with toxins, including high levels of arsenic. (Preserve Our Islands) Found in concentrations nearly double those requiring industrial cleanup, and 20 times those of residential standards, Glacier NW plans to bulldoze the top 18 inches of soil and store it in an enormous berm. (Holt, 1999) With a maximum durability of 50-75 years, the berm would provide temporary storage for vast amounts of hazardous waste. Glacier NW offers no plan for managing the toxins after that time. If the permit is issued and they are allowed to mine at the proposed rate, it is foreseeable that the corporation will have exhausted the site and moved on long before necessary measures are taken.

Should the berm rupture, by means of an earthquake for instance, the mass of toxic soil would flow downhill into Puget Sound, where it would devastate not only the physical environment, but the plants and animals as well. Fish, birds and marine mammals would be exposed to extreme levels of the deadly contaminants, which bioaccumulate up the food chain. Sea birds often die after eating arsenic-tainted fish, which would prove disastrous on Maury Island as its Quartermaster harbor has been identified by the Department of Natural Resources as an “an important area for marine birds.” (Department of Natural Resources)

Exposure to arsenic can cause health effects, such as gastrointestinal disturbances, abnormal heart rhythm, and blood vessel damage for short-term effect, and cancer of the skin, bladder, kidney, liver and lung for long-term effect.

Madrone tree stand habitat

Another relevant concern in this debate is the disruption of habitat in the Madrone tree stand which is located in the area of the proposed expansion. Glacier Northwest has acknowledged that they will occupy the stand, but they stress that restoration of the habitat will be a continually occurring process. Nevertheless, the concern for irreversible damage to one of the largest Madrone forests in the United States still exists. Madrone trees protect against erosion as their wide roots anchor the soil and their leaves guard against the rain. The forest also provides nesting and food habitats for numerous birds, ranging from the Chestnut-backed Chickadee to the Bald Eagle. If Glacier Northwest were allowed to conduct their proposed expansive mining operation on Maury Island, then approximately 235 acres (0.95 km²) of Pacific Madrone, or Arbutus Menziesii, could be deforested. Glacier Northwest plans to take steps to mitigate the deforestation of the area, which includes transplanting saplings after the various stages of mining had commenced. However, the success rate of Madrone trees surviving transplantation would be very low, according to the Holden Arboretum. The University of Washington’s Botany Department has also confirmed that Madrone trees have high rates of germination and emergence, yet seedling survival is poor on most sites; approximately 90 to 100% of seedlings die within the first year. Such a low survival rate will cause the forest to become reestablished in approximately 20 years as reported by the official Environmental Impact Statement.

Water supply

An issue that the residents of South Maury Island face, as a result if the proposed expansions of the Glacier Northwest gravel mine, is a possible threat to the resident’s drinking water supply and quality. The aquifer on South Maury Island relies totally on rainwater to sustain it. The rainwater is absorbed by the ground and is filtered through hundreds of feet of soil to a layer of permeable rock that holds the water. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the aquifer on South Maury Island supplies 71 percent of the drinking water to residents on the island. It is the primary source of drinking water to the island and contamination of the aquifer system would create a significant hazard to public health. If the supply were to be contaminated no reasonably available alternative source of drinking water could replace the aquifer system (Vashon-Maury Island). According to Preserve Our Islands, it is proposed that Glacier Northwest would mine to within 15 feet of the aquifer. This could lead to possible disruptions and contamination of the flow and recharge capabilities of the aquifer (Threat to Water Supply and Quality).

Mining Expansion Via Barges on Maury Island

In order to transport the mined aggregate off the island, Glacier Northwest plans mainly on using barges, supported and supplemented by a new dock system - which they have yet to gain permission to construct (Preserve Our Islands, April 26). The company asserts that their reasons for using barge transportation are based on environmental and economic principles, such avoiding the costs and environmental effects of constructing main roads on which the aggregate would be transported. The economic viability of this strategy is clear; one barge of aggregate is equal to approximately 115 trucks (Ron Summers, April 25), but both the use of the barge and construction of a new dock have other consequences as well (see below). Glacier Northwest is hoping to mine and remove 85 million tons of sand and gravel from the island using the barges. This could result in a loss of 8% of the island's land mass and lead to serious effects on the islands nearshore habitat, water supply, chemical containment (see arsenic), etc.

Specific Effects on the Environment Through Barge Usage

As Glacier Northwest claims that the usage of barges is beneficial to the environment, those against the mine expansion, especially those from Preserve Our Island, disagree. They claim the physical effects of the barge itself, and the side-effects of its loading procedures can be severely detrimental to the near shore environment. It is estimated that the velocity of the propwash from these barges can resuspend about 90% of the ambient bed material in the shallow waters. This effect, contrary to Glacier Northwest's attempt at mitigation would not be avoided if the dock and loading site were extended into deeper waters as planned. This is due to the likely possibility of spillage, which is excess aggregate falling over the side of the barge into the sound. The effect of the spillage, which may result at the loading site, would then raise the ambient bed as it is collected on the ocean floor, once again exposing it to the dangers of the barge's propwash. These effects would even pose a more significant effect during low tides, as outlined in the continuing section on the remaining eelgrass beds. By using barge ships as their main form of transport, Glacier Northwest is also putting South Maury Island’s fragile habitat at an extremely high risk for oil spills. The coming and going of barges will enhance the possibility of a leak or spill, as well as the detrimental effects that would befall Puget Sound if one took place. An oil spill would demolish the near shore habitat, and this would of course effect the fish, birds, and sea mammals living throughout Puget Sound.

Remaining eelgrass beds

One of the most prevalent issues at hand on South Maury Island regards the destruction of eelgrass beds with the proposed expansion by Glacier Northwest. Part of the allure of the Maury Island location is the site's proximity to the Puget Sound waterway. Glacier Northwest ships gravel by truck and by barge, but shipping gravel by barge is cheaper than by truck, and so the gravel mine will use a dock (Glacier Northwest). The existing dock on the eastern shore is "dilapidated" (Preserve Our Islands-Eelgrass). Glacier Northwest has agreed to expand this dock to distances that reduce the risk of damaging the local habitat, yet many concerns still remain. One of the biggest concerns is the potential damage to local eelgrass habitat—a vital part of the salmon’s livelihood. According to Dr. David Jay's Propeller Wash Analysis Study of 2002, expanding the dock out as Glacier Northwest has proposed will not significantly reduce this risk (Preserve Our Islands-Eelgrass). The construction of the dock could also stand to disturb the habitat.

Eelgrass not only provides food for juvenile salmon but is a source of stability and sediment control. This protection helps preserve the highly productive bacteria in the sediments that nourish large amounts of invertebrates. Eelgrass meadows cushion the impact of waves and currents, preventing erosion. The eelgrass also serves as a vital role in the lives of hundreds of other species including chum, herring, and crabs. The Quartermaster Harbor herring stock is currently the largest spawning population in southern Puget Sound, and approximately the third largest in the entire Puget Sound region. The state of Washington has already lost nearly 33% of its eelgrass population (www.preserveourisland.org). The expansion of Glacier Northwest and its proposed dock would destroy some of the crucial eelgrass populations. The spillage from the sight and towboat propellers would erode the eelgrass especially from May-July, when the tide is the lowest, which is also the most important growth period for eelgrass. Though Glacier intends to replace the eelgrass somewhere else on the island, there is a great chance that it would not be successful. Eelgrass is very sensitive and eelgrass replacement projects have a low success rate; if it doesn't grow there naturally it probably won't be successful in a replacement project.

Creosote Residue

One of the major issues currently under debate between Preserve Our Islands and Glacier Northwest is the construction of a new dock over the old one. The old dock, however, was constructed using creosote to preserve the wooden pilings. Creosote is a type of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, which is detrimental to many types of marine life, and the removal of the old dock might leave some creosote residue behind. (http://www.dnr.wa.gov/htdocs/amp/sepa/aqr/mauryseis/seis.pdf). Herring eggs, which are often placed on pilings, have a 100% mortality rate if the piling is coated with creosote. It is cancerous to any marine life living near it, and the EPA declared that any creosote spills over one gallon must be reported (http://www.epa.gov/). Part of the current mandate for construction calls for heavy sampling to guarantee that no creosote is left after a new dock is in place. Glacier Northwest is currently debating this issue in court.

Salmon and the Nearshore Area

The well-being of the nearshore area around South Maury Island is another concern. Eelgrass (Zosetra Marina) is an essential habitat that protects developing anadromous fish, such as salmon by providing cover from predation and food which supports the growth of healthy salmon populations (http://www.metrokc.gov/ddes/cao/PDFs04ExecProp/BAS-Chap7-04.pdf). Eelgrass beds also protect developing species such as herring which are a food source for juvenile salmon. The construction of a new dock by Glacier Northwest will severely affect eelgrass, therefore disrupting species within the habitat. Docks and their construction affect eelgrass from underwater noise which would disturb fragile species while creating shade which would threaten eelgrass growth (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/pugetsound/species/eelgrass.html). Puget Sound has lost 33% of its eelgrass beds and the development of Glacier Northwest’s dock would negatively affect eelgrass populations. Docks would also harm the eelgrass beds that harbor young salmon by dredging (scooping and suctioning water ways) in order to improve navigation between piers. With the threat of development comes the possibility of building bulkheads, or extensive walls in the water in order to aid in collecting sediment. This loss of sediment built up in the ocean threaten the livelihood of many fish including salmon and the man-made walls make it impossible for salmon and other fish to navigate through the waters natural currents.

Northwestern Fence Lizard

The Northwestern Fence lizard is a lesser known creature threatened by mining expansion. (Preserve Our Islands.) The lizards in and of themselves are far from endangered, even though South Maury Island is one of their only habitats in the Puget Sound area. However removing these lizards from South Maury Island is speculated to be detrimental. The full effects of their absence on the island are unknown but it is speculated that the insect populations that they feed on could rise without their natural predator. The harm the insects could cause is theorized to be anywhere from nuisance to destructive of local flora. Also Western Fence lizards are thought to diminish the danger of Lyme disease because when the ticks feed on the lizards it kills the Lyme disease bacteria.

Feeder bluffs

Feeder bluffs, also known as eroding shoreline bluffs, serve as a vital part of the shoreline habitat on Maury Island. The natural erosion of the bluffs helps control the amount of new sediment that is pushed down on to the beach, and later into the tidal and intertidal zones. The nutrients in the soil help nurture the growth of eel grass beds that contribute to sustaining a healthy ecosystem and food web on the island. Mining on the island by Glacier Northwest would remove important feeder bluffs and accelerate erosion. An abnormal amount of gravel, dirt and nutrients in the water would upset the delicate balance that has already been established that supports forage fish and eel grass beds.

Aquatic Reserve

History

On November 21, 2000, Jennifer Belcher, the Washington State Lands Commissioner, declared five controversial areas around the Puget Sound as aquatic reserves. One month later in December 2000, Belcher added Maury Island to the list of aquatic reserves (Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2000). Many saw this move by Belcher as an attempt to make more obstacles in the process Glacier Northwest was following for a new dock permit. Subsequently Glacier Northwest filed a lawsuit against Jennifer Belcher protesting her unilateral decision to establish the aquatic reserves (Gordon 2001). Despite the litigation, the Maury Island Aquatic Reserve was reaffirmed by Doug Sutherland along with more specific purpose and protection for the submerged lands in question (Gordon 2004).

Goals of the Aquatic Reserve

The reserve was designed to “ conserve, preserve, restore, and/or enhance” the habitats and species make up Maury Island (Draft Management Plan 14). There are four main goals. The first goal is to conserve the native habitats of plants and wildlife species including forage fish, salmonids, and migratory birds. The second goal is to conserve the functions and native processes of the nearshore ecosystem. The third is to maintain the territory, habitats and species through education and opportunities for public involvement. The fourth goal is promote responsible management of recreational, commercial and cultural uses of Maury Island that relate to the previous goals. According to the management plan, a reviewed and updated version will be made every ten years for ninety years (http://thescubastop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=958).

Threatened bird populations

Quartermaster Harbor, which lies between Maury Island and Vashon Island, has been declared by the Audubon Society as an “Important Bird Area” due to its rare intact ecosystem and eelgrass bed habitat (Audubon Society Washington Watchlist Webpage). The beds support herring, which are an important food source for many of the bird species that breed in Quartermaster Harbor (Audubon Society Washington Watchlist Webpage). Several of the species which use the area are either federally listed as being threatened, or are strong candidates for state recognition as threatened species. Included on this list are the Marbled Murrelet, Common Loon, and Brandt's Cormorant (Audubon Society Washington Watchlist Webpage). In addition, Quartermaster Harbor plays a large role in Grebe ecology, with 8-10% of Washington’s total Grebe population using it as winter habitat (Holt, A1). Western Grebe populations have seen severe declines in numbers since the 1970’s, decreasing by around 95% from 120,000 birds to less than 5,000 in the year 2000, making Quartermaster Harbor an important refuge for remaining birds (Holt, A1). Marbled Murrelets are also on the decline, having lost nearly 96% of their population to oil spills, loss of habitat, and gill net mortality (Holt, A1; Audubon Society Marbled Murrelet Webpage).

These integral bird populations that are being threatened are one of the aspects of the lands that prompted the Washington Department of Natural Resources to select this site in Quartermaster Harbor and along the southeastern shore of Maury Island as an aquatic reserve in 2003. One of four sites selected in the state of Washington, this particular area is not only rich in species of birds, but also includes many other diverse habitats such as extensive eelgrass beds, kelp beds, herring spawning grounds, Chinook salmon migratory corridors, and bottom fish rearing habitat. The proposed shoreline has been surveyed by the department and was found to have 78% of it’s expanse covered in eel grass beds which provide food for marine species as well as anchoring sediments and keeps sub tidal environments moist (Maury Island Aquatic Reserve Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement). It was felt that the creation of the reserve would positively impact the aquatic vegetation through the implementation of best management policies, as well as setting standards for operations and construction in regard to marinas, over-water structures, recreational docks, and mooring buoys. An aquatic reserve would help create a healthy ecosystem that connects all of these habitats, which would create economic advantages and opportunities to enjoy these aquatic ecosystems for generations to come (Washington State Department of National Resources Webpage).

The Department of National Resources would partner with King County and the Department of Ecology to benefit the species in the marine habitat by improving water quality, as well as minimizing erosion and shoreline hardening. These improvements would be countered by the actions of Glacier NW, which could contribute to the depletion of water quality as well as bluffs and shorelines across the site.

Southern resident Orca Whale community

The Aquatic Reserve on Maury Island functions as a herring nursery and is in the migratory corridor of the endangered Chinook salmon. These fish, dependent on the eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds, are vital to the J, K and L Orca whale pods that occupy southern Puget Sound waters between the months of October and March. Salmon account for 90% of the orca whales’ diet, 2/3 of that consisting of the Chinook salmon. These three pods, currently consisting of 84 individual whales, utilize this area for a winter feeding ground as well as for calving and nursing their young (Preserve Our Islands Web site. Maury Island strip mine could cause killer whales to quit south sound). The Southern Resident orca (Orcinus orca) is listed by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission as an endangered species, and as depleted under the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife).

According to University of Washington research scientist David Bain, this orca population is "teetering on the brink of extinction" (Ervin 2004). Bain suggested that the Glacier Northwest’s proposed dock expansion, along with the frequent tug and barge traffic used to load and transport the gravel could deter the orcas from utilizing this area. The noise created by loading the gravel in the barges is magnified by the water and at full proposed operation, would be fairly constant. Bain, who is studying the effects of noise on the orcas for the National Marine Fisheries Service suggests that being deterred from using this area, could contribute to the extinction of this resident population.

Oil spills



Another pressing environmental concern South Maury Island faces is oil spills. Although they are not directly related to the Glacier Northwest mining controversy, oil spills add to the sensitivity of the area as an aquatic reserve. On October 14, 2004 an oil spill occurred in Dalco Passage at around 1am. An estimated 1,000 gallons spilled into the waterways surrounding Vashon/Maury Island. The source of oil was initially unknown, but tests carried out by the Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology determined that the source was the Polar Texas oil tanker owned by ConocoPhillips. (Washington State Department of Ecology Web Page: Dalco Passage Spill)

Though recent spills have been minor, there is concern that Washington does not have the capacity to respond to a big oil spill in the future would devastate the environment and have significant impacts on the surrounding community, wildlife, and fisheries. Efforts are being made to strengthen the community, State, and Coast Guard partnership in preventing and responding to oil spills effectively. Also, Washington is working to improve Tug Escorts for Loaded Tankers, enhance oil spill contingency plans, and restore environmental damage already cased by oil spills. (Washington State Department of Ecology Web Page: Spill Prevention, Preparedness, and Response)

One of the more recent oil spills occurred on January 28, 2005. Ecology officials estimated “hundreds of gallons” contaminated the Dalco Passage off Vashon/Maury Island. The cause of the spill is still unknown, shortly after the spill the Coast Guard and Ecology collected oil samples in an effort to identify the source (People for Puget Sound article on Jan. 2005 oil spill).

In dealing with significant oil spills, the Washington State Department of Ecology works with other organizations to asses the damage done in monetary value, and if possible seeks compensation from the responsible party(s). The state department of ecology then works with other organizations using the money to mitigate the oil spill, a primary objective being the restoration and protection of priority wildlife habitat (Washington State Spill Prevention/Response page).


Vashon- Maury Island Community Council

Vashon-Maury Island faces many environmental issues, but the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council has been serving this island since 1933. This council is a town hall style forum for discussion of issues relevant to the residents of Vashon- Maury Islands. The Council is recognized by King County as an Unincorporated Area Community Council. As a town-hall forum, decisions are made by a public vote at our General Meetings. Much of the work of the Council takes place in our Committees, which then forward their recommendations to the whole Council for action. Public meetings are held once a month and welcome all residents of this island over the age of 18 to discuss the upcoming events and issues surrounding this island. This council lets all residents know the issues this island is facing and allows people to take action.

Glacier NW's EIS

In order to mine for gravel, Glacier NW is required to provide an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is reviewed by King County. This report details the proposed scale of operation. Sand and gravel extraction could be as high as 7.5 million tons per year, but could also be much lower, depending on demand. Also dependent on demand is the lifetime of the mine, which could be 11 years at full production, up to 35 years before the site is closed. The clearing of ground is proposed to occur in phases of 32 acres (129,000 m²) each, with no more than 2 phases in process at a time. In order to reduce arsenic contamination, contaminated materials will be contained within a sealed berm, and no contaminated materials would leave the site.

Also stated in the EIS are alternative actions that Glacier Northwest proposes to take in order for them to mine at the Maury Island site. These actions include reduced hours of barging in order to control noise, mitigation of the Madrone forest, habitat retention for the pleated woodpecker by creating a habitat elsewhere prior to removing the Douglas-fir snags, and the alternative of not only repairing the dock that already exists, but replacing it altogether. This new dock proposes to be built with the latest technology to reduce shade and contamination and to extend into deeper water to avoid impacts to the most sensitive areas of the shoreline. Building a new dock would eliminate repeated repairs on the existing dock.

The Benefits from the Glacier Northwest Gravel Pit

There are many advantages to the mining on South Maury Island, as well as disadvantages. One of the benefits of mining on the island is the gravel that we use for our roads, gardens, foundations, parks, etc. According to Glacier Northwest, Maury island has one of the largest reserves of the rock and because it is an island, the gravel is easily transported on barges to other areas of the Pacific Northwest. One of the arguments against the transportation of the rock is that the new dock that would be built for it has much potential for the destruction of vital habitat for sea life. This can be solved by the guarantee that Glacier Northwest will replace or mitigate any damaged caused by the dock(http://www.mauryislandmine.com/). Another worry of the Preserve Our Lands group is the possible arsenic contamination of the drinking water. This will not happen because of the large containers that Glacier is building to contain the waste from the mining. Other benefits of the mining are the large number of jobs the mine will create, and the boost to our economy that the mined rock will produce.

References

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Audubon Society. Washington’s WatchList Birds. Webpage.

"Belcher Specifies Aquatic Reserves." Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle, WA: November 21, 2000.

Bentler, Fred. Department of Natural Resources and Parks. "Water and Land Resources Division." May 9, 2005, Website: “http://www.audubon.org/bird/watchlist/bs-bc-washington.html”

“Biological and Ecological Characteristics.” The University of Washington Arbutus Page. 2005. 17 May 2005.

Brown et al. Reptiles of Washington and Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society, 1995.

Christie, Patrick. Assistant Professor, School of Marine Affairs and the Jackson School of International Studies. "Growth and Maintaining Salmon Populations in the Puget Sound: Incompatible Desires?" School of Marine Affairs 103. University of Washington. Seattle, 22 April 2005.

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Ervin, Keith. Friday August 20, 2004.Orca habitat at risk if barging allowed, UW scientist testifies. Seattle Times. Seattle, Wa.

Gardner, Booth. "Governor Gardner supports Preserve Our Island". Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber. 7 July 2004.

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Gordon, Susan. "Northwest Aggregates". The News Tribune. Seattle, Washington: December 5, 2001. pg. B2.

Gordon, Susan. The News Tribune. Seattle, Washington: November 25, 2004. pg B2.

Gordon, Susan. "Eelgrass Vanishing From Sound; Preserve Our Island Group Says Maury Island Gravel Pit Expansion Would Threaten Already Disappearing Sea Plant." The News Tribune. September 3, 2002. Accessed 16 May 2005 .

Goverde, H.M, G. Janssen, W.J. Sydeman, W.M. Jarman. "Trace Metals in Seabirds, Steller Sea Lion, and Forage Fish and Zooplankton from Central California." Marine Pollution Bulletin Oct 1998 v36 i10 p 828

"Habitat Destruction." Preserve Our Islands Official Website.

Holt, Gordy. “Arsenic in Maury Island gravel pit raises alarm.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle, Washington: February 15, 1999

Holt, Gordy. State's Grebe Population Dives Quartermaster Harbor is One of the Tiny Species' Last Havens. Seattle Post - Intelligencer. Seattle, Wash.: Mar 29, 2001. pg. A.1

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"Maury Island Aquatic Reserve Draft EIS." 23 May 2005.

McDonald, Elvin, ed. Trees. New York: Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, 1996.

Montgomery, David R. King of Fish. Cambridge: Westview P, 2003.

Nelson, Sharon. "Don't Expand Island's Gravel Mine." Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle, Wash.: Jun 27, 2001. pg. B.4

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People for Puget Sound article on the January 2005 oil spill in the Dalco Passage.

Port of Seattle Homepage. “Third Runway.” Accessed 23 May 2005

People for Puget Sound Official Website Preserve Our Islands Web site. Maury Island strip mine could cause killer whales to quit south sound.

"Soil sampling: 1999-2000 Vashon-Maury Island Soil Study." Public Health - Seattle & King County. January 13, 2005 .

Summers, Ron. Glacier Northwest Vice President and General Manager, Washington Division. Stoltz, Pete. Glacier Northwest Permit Coordinator. "Vashon-Maury Islands case study: Glacier Northwest's efforts to meet consumer demand while maintaining salmon habitat." University of Washington. April 25, 2005.

Summers, Ron. "Grousing About Gravel Site Gratuitous." Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 17, 2004. Accessed 14 May 2005 .

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Washington Department of Natural Resources. Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland recommends four aquatic reserves in Puget Sound.

Washington State Spill Prevention, Response, and Preparedness Page.

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