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Tuesday, November 07, 2006 

Dive Area Buoy Project at Seacrest Park Completed

Originally uploaded by Pixel Letch.
From the City of Seattle: To help increase diver safety at the popular Seacrest Boathouse and Pier in West Seattle, the City of Seattle has installed a series of new marine navigation buoys. The purposes are to help increase safety awareness by boaters and to further separate divers from nearby activities, including the Elliott Bay Water Taxi.

This effort began in 2004, when Seattle Parks and Recreation first applied for a permit from the US Coast Guard. That permit application also required endorsements from Army Corps of Engineers, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and others. Review and discussions continued and finally resulted in a permit to install three navigation buoys, white with orange markings and clearly labeled “WARNING – Watch for Divers.”

Seattle Police Harbor Patrol took the lead on installation of the buoys. Sgt Kevin Haistings partnered with the US Coast Guard to put the anchors in place. Harbor Patrol attached the chains and completed the installation. To protect natural plants or animals along the bottom surface by keeping the chain off the bottom even at the lowest tide, secondary “cantenary” buoys were installed. Parks provided all of the materials for the project.

The City has also installed a series of smaller yellow buoys as a reference point for divers, fishermen, and boaters. These are set along the line that defines the area around the Seacrest pier that is closed to divers. This line and buoys are being maintained by the dive community through an on-going work dives as needed.

Behind the scenes, a small core group of volunteers provided ongoing assistance with these projects. Their expertise, information, and advice helped guide the projects and keep them on track.

“Thanks are due to all of the volunteers who have helped with litter control and used their creativity to find a way to clean the underwater line,” said Parks Aquatics Manager Kathy Whitman. “Their outstanding work has improved safety for all divers. Special recognition is due to Jack Connick of Marker Buoy Dive Club and JD Rowe of the Boeing Seahorses, who have been solid contributors to numerous efforts at Seacrest.”

Seacrest is a heavily used park that offers a combination of active and passive recreation activities. Seattle Parks strives constantly for a balance that ensures that other activities are not affected by changes as they take place at the park. Please be aware of the need to focus on the issues of overuse and increased popularity. Ms. Whitman indicates “We are grateful for the efforts of many recreational divers to educate other divers; these positive contributions help to reduce problems at this popular park.”

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