During the early 20th century, Anacortes was primarily a mill town. At one time 13 mills operated along the shoreline of Fidalgo Bay. These mills left behind a legacy of toxic contamination both on the shore and in the water. One of those sites, designated the Custom Plywood site by the WA Dept. of Ecology, posed a major cleanup challenge. The site had extensive upland contamination, wood debris and sawdust, as well as remnants of the collapsed mill structure. Structural debris in the intertidal and extensive dioxin contaminants in the sediments made this site a priority for WA State's Puget Sound Initiative as part of the Anacortes Baywide Cleanup program. This film tells the story of this site's history, how it was cleaned up and restored, and how wildlife habitat has been restored and is already rebounding.
This film was written and produced by Ryan Hasert, an independent filmmaker in partnership with Betty Carteret of Friends of Skagit Beaches. Ryan's videography, journalism and editing skills are evident in this piece, which is a companion film with the "Anacortes Baywide Cleanup" film also posted here.