Volunteers remove 5,000+ cigarette butts from Alki Beach

Seal Sitters and volunteers collected more than 5,000 cigarette butts from Alki Beach on June 13. Photo by Eilene Hutchinson

A cigarette butt is tossed on the beach. It’s not biodegradable. It can take up to 15 years to decompose. During that time it leaches cadmium, arsenic and other poisons into the earth. It may be ingested by a toddler, bird or fish. At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we’re trying to prevent that situation, and we’re thankful for our community partners joining in the effort.

On Saturday, June 13, Seal Sitters led an Alki Beach cleanup with more than 80 volunteers. Seal Sitters is an all-volunteer group dedicated to the protection of marine animals and their urban habitats in Puget Sound. After a brief educational program led by PAWS Wildlife and NOAA Fisheries, the volunteers scanned the beach picking up litter and debris.

In less than two hours, the volunteers picked up more than 5,000 cigarette butts along with other trash. Passersby gave the group kudos as they walked by and some people signed up on the spot to pitch in.

Seal Sitters partner with Seattle Parks to provide volunteer trainings, beach cleanup events and educational activities in parks.

As of July 6, 2015, all Seattle parks will be smoke-free. Through this effort, Seattle Parks hopes to reduce litter, promote healthy lifestyles for youth, and create a welcoming environment for all visitors to City parks and beaches.

For more information on Seattle’s smoke-free parks, visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/smokingban/.

Burn ban lifted: Beach fires can resume

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency today lifted the burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Alki Beach Park, 1702 Alki Ave. SW, and Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Ave. NW, can resume. Bonfires scheduled for on-shore Christmas Ship events can also resume.

The rules for beach fires are as follows:

  • Light fires ONLY in designated fire pits, which are available on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • Burn only clean firewood like bare, clean dry cordwood (chemically treated wood like lumber releases a strong-smelling, dirty smoke into the air and burning pallets can leave nails and debris on the beach)
  • Douse your fire completely with water (NOT sand) before leaving
  • Don’t remove anything from the park
  • Dispose of trash and ashes in the containers provided for each
  • Be considerate of others – no amplified music
  • Alcohol is not permitted in Seattle parks

For more information on burn bans please visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at http://www.pscleanair.org/airq/status.aspx.

 

 

Burn ban in effect: Beach fires prohibited at Golden Gardens Park and Alki Beach Park

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) has issued a burn ban for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Alki Beach Park, 1702 Alki Ave. SW, and Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Ave. NW, are prohibited until the PSCAA lifts the ban. Bonfires lit for on-shore Christmas Ship events will also be affected.

The ban, due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution, was issued on November 30, 2014, and will be in effect until further notice. The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution that is creating unhealthy air.

Violation of the ban can result in a $1,000 fine from the PSCAA.

For more information on burn ban please visit the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency at http://www.pscleanair.org/airq/status.aspx.

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Seattle Parks to turn showers back on at Alki, Seacrest Parks

Seattle Parks and Recreation will turn on the showers back on at Alki Beach Bathhouse today, and have the showers at Seacrest Park open by Thursday, July 31.

The water had been turned off temporarily after Seattle Parks received notice from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) that the two showers were draining directly into the Puget Sound, which is not allowed under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) or Seattle City Code.

Parks and SPU have jointly developed a temporary solution to the problem while a more permanent one is created. Seattle Parks and Recreation will install a charcoal or vitamin C treatment system to address the chlorine in the water, and post signs that say “no soap, no chemicals, no dumping.”

Parks will work with SPU to develop a method and schedule for the long-term fix, which will likely include connecting the showers to the nearby sanitary line.

Parks and SPU are still working on a solution for how to bring the fish cleaning sink into compliance.

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