by: Kevin McCarty Updated:
FOX ISLAND, Wash. - In the years before a bridge connected it to the Kitsap Peninsula the only way on or off Fox Island was the ferry.
"When I was a little girl that's how you got to the island," said Katie Britton. "You took the ferry."
That ended in 1954 when the new bridge replaced the boats of the Mosquito Fleet. The old dock sat slowly deteriorating.
What's left of the old ferry dock is now being removed by the state Department of Natural Resources because the rotting pilings could pose a threat to the marine environment. Project manager Jordana Black said the threat comes from creosote used to coat the wooden pilings to protect them from saltwater.
"Creosote is more or less a toxic cocktail of over 300 chemicals," said Black. "And those chemicals have been found to be harmful or even toxic to marine organisms."
But some islanders are unhappy the dock is being removed, and angry over what they said was limited notice about the project.
Britton is a third-generation island resident who tried unsuccessfully to stop the project. She said most residents knew nothing about the removal until work began several days ago.
"So it was just kind of a shock to island residents because this is part of our history and a big part of the history of the island," said Britton.