For eighty years or more, Bill Point and its adjacent cove was the site of an industrial operation where timbers were treated with creosote, a preservative that was highly effective, but also turned out to be very toxic and persistent in the soil. For the past fifteen years, Bill Point has been an EPA Superfund cleanup site. The red line in the sketch is a high steel containment wall that surrounds the remaining contaminated soil on the point to keep the chemicals from leaching into the sea. This is just one of many extreme cleanup measures. The lovely curving beach between our marina and Bill Point has been entirely rebuilt; the sand that lies there was brought in from a river valley near Bellingham, replacing contaminated sand and soil that were removed. The shore and adjacent woodland have just been reopened as a park.
It’s been interesting to live with this vista, with the herons, eagles, ducks, and kingfishers that swarm over the bay, and the knowledge of the history of the land and seascape. Is the curvature of the shoreline, the perfect color touch of the iron retaining wall, or the exhilaration of the dogs and children on the sand more or less appealing because of what has gone before?