The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department took six bids to remove the derelict dock at Agate Beach, and intends to award the bid to Ballard Diving and Salvage from Vancouver, WA. The contract will result in the dock being dismantled on shore and removed in pieces by land, and will cost the department approximately $84,155.
Two options for removal were considered: either removing the dock intact by sea and taking it to the Port of Newport in Yaquina Bay, or dismantling. The department was advised by state marine biology experts from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that allowing the dock to enter Yaquina Bay posed a high risk of introducing potentially invasive species.
A team from the ODFW Marine Resources Program removed more than two tons of plants and animals June 7-8, 2012 from the sides, top and portions of the interior of the dock. State park crews buried the organisms away from salt water under 8′ of sand. Among the species removed were two known potential invaders: the northern Pacific sea star (Asterias amurensis, http://tinyurl.com/n-pacific-sea-star), and a marine alga, wakame (Undaria pinnatifida, http://undaria.nisbase.org/). Both of these organisms are included on the global list of 100 worst invasive species.
While the lion’s share of the species have been removed from the dock, some algae and animals may still be present on both the bottom and inaccessible portions of the interior, and there is no sure way to remove them completely. The department is not certain enough that invasives have been completely removed to ask Yaquina Bay to take the risk.
Department staff and executives tried their utmost to recover the dock intact and find some way of returning it to use. The Port of Newport indicated it did not have room for the structure, and that it was unsure how much repair and modification work was needed to put it to use.
Portions of the dock will be retained for use in a local memorial. A schedule for removal will be announced after negotiating final terms with the contractor. Timing is important because conditions on the beach, such as the amount of sand naturally piling up around the dock, could change without notice.