This high-resolution satellite image, offered by Customaps, shows a container ship in Commencement Bay, a large waterway that was carved out by glaciers over several Ice Ages. The Bay is surrounded by the City of Tacoma (Washington) on three sides.
Over the past 150 years, the Bay has seen many changes. Development has meant filling in the tideflats to create industrial land, and dredging out waterways for boats and ships. This has dramatically changed the environment and reduced habitat for native species. In the early 1980s, Ecology staff began finding evidence of widespread contamination in Commencement Bay sediments. In the late 1980s, the new objective was to try to reduce or eliminate all toxic releases into the bay before the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) began sediment cleanup. Today, Commencement Bay is a cleaner and healthier environment than it was in 1981 (when it became a Superfund site), but despite this there is still much work to be done. Sediments continue to be monitored and work is ongoing.
Image © Mapbox, DigitalGloble, Inc.
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