WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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January 17, 1997
Contact: Tim Waters, (206) 775-1311, ext. 119

Marina, boathouse owners reminded to obtain necessary state permit before repairing storm damage

SEATTLE -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife today reminded owners of marinas and boathouses damaged during recent storms that they must obtain department approval before making repairs in water.

Under state law, a person must receive a hydraulic permit from the department before performing work in fresh or saltwater. The regulation is aimed at protecting fish and shellfish and their habitat.

"Many people simply don't realize they need to get in touch with us before making repairs," said John Boettner, a habitat specialist in the department's northern Puget Sound region.

"In most cases, the permit can be issued quickly and, in the case of emergencies, over the phone," he added.

Numerous marinas and boathouses throughout the Puget Sound region sustained substantial damage when snow accumulated on roofs and caused the structures to collapse, Boettner said.

That, in turn, created potential problems for fish and shellfish because of the materials used to construct some of the structures, he said.

"For example, the exposed styrofoam used for floatation devices at a number of these damaged marinas and boathouses is a major concern to us if it breaks loose." Boettner said. "Not only does it wind up on beaches and other places where it harms habitat, but fish and other wildlife eat it."

"We're trying to work closely with marina and boathouse owners to find alternative construction materials that hopefully will decrease potential problems when storms occur in future years," Boettner said.

Marina and boathouse owners can reach the department's Habitat Program in the Tacoma, Seattle and Everett areas by calling (206) 775-1311. Or they can call the department's Olympia office at (360) 902-2200.