OLYMPIA - A new collaboration between the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army's 569th Engineer Dive Detachment will help improve wildlife habitat in Puget Sound waters by removing derelict fishing nets beginning Monday.
The partnership provides the Army divers training in deep-water diving operations while removing wildlife-threatening derelict fishing nets at no cost to the state. Diving operations will be conducted off a contracted vessel through July 28. The divers will remove deep-water derelict fishing nets as part the Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Training Program.
"This is a unique opportunity to partner with the Army to address the critical habitat for sea life in our northern waters, while service members also get the training they need to work in deep-water conditions," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. "Working together, this project will ensure more derelict nets are removed as part of protecting and preserving our aquatic lands for fish and other marine wildlife."