September 16, 2021

Music Arts

Spearheading Arts Excellence

Our Underwater Yard: Everyday living at the Lopez Pontoon

5 min read
Daniel Dembowy (All shots courtesy Annie Crawley)

My Edmonds Information is publishing regular tales and photos from the Edmonds Underwater Park, with options created by associates of the youth dive staff led by Annie Crawley, Edmonds underwater photographer, filmmaker, author and ocean advocate.

The underwater globe is complete of surprises. Whilst the regular 50-diploma temperature of Puget Seem is no tropical paradise, the everyday living under drinking water is unbelievable in truth, the chilly is what tends to make our area unique. As a member of Annie Crawley’s Dive Crew, I come to feel so privileged to be able to take a look at and realize this earth as a result of scuba diving, science, and images. Edmonds Underwater Park is just one of my favourite destinations. It is also wherever I learned to dive when I was 10 yrs aged. Located at Brackett’s Landing North in Edmonds, it is my underwater yard. For 50 a long time, Edmonds Underwater Park has been a maritime guarded place. So much exists under the floor that can not be witnessed from land. Take a dive with me into this underwater earth to examine the astounding lifestyle that requirements our defense.

If you have at any time been to Brackett’s Landing North, you may perhaps recall a significant jetty protruding out into the h2o. It’s a excellent location to admire the drinking water, ferries, wildlife and divers underneath. From time to time I undertaking to the jetty to enjoy my teammates area from a dive, serving as a rescue diver for my group and my group. The buoys that freckle the surface of the h2o assistance divers navigate the underwater trail method established by Bruce Higgins and the Park Stewards volunteer team. If you squint your eyes, you may perhaps see a few of blue buoys situated straight out from the jetty, which mark my beloved location in the park: the Lopez Pontoon.

In get to reach the Lopez Pontoon, my workforce and I use a blend of compass navigation and natural navigation with park capabilities this kind of as the trails. Our dive group founder and chief Annie Crawley made a particular PADI scuba diving system that teaches us how to navigate to the Lopez Pontoon on our have and investigate the park. I want all people to be in a position to discover their way to the pontoon due to the fact it is actually exceptional. I consider this solitary composition, full of everyday living and splendor, displays complexities existing all through the whole globe ocean.

The Lopez Pontoon, positioned by volunteer divers on Nov. 4, 2009, is a massive concrete framework 100 toes extended, 20 ft large and 13 feet tall. I assume it is one particular of the most lovely, colourful and everyday living-crammed structures in the Pacific Northwest. On a sunny day, the pontoon is illuminated by the sun’s rays and serves as a hub for so a lot of distinct animals. Education fish circle the leading of it, large lingcod rest down below, and big plumose sea anemones cling to the sides. There are a lot of other more compact critters throughout the pontoon hiding below algae or in the shell of large barnacles.

The pontoon’s remarkable sizing will allow it to provide as a essential habitat for many distinct organisms. From the tiniest hermit crab locating its most popular shell to a cabezon seeking for a snack, the Pontoon offers a area for all life. Lingcod get cleaned by symbiotic shrimp and sculpins, rockfish university, juvenile Puget Seem King Crab blend in with the sponges and tunicates. Some animals use the Lopez Pontoon to hunt for foodstuff, also. For illustration, a tiny sculpin will obtain coonstripe shrimp to eat while nudibranchs can also locate their favourite meals of tunicates or bryozoans. In the course of a person of my favored dives, I watched a plumose sea anemone catch and feed off a passing egg yolk jelly. As scuba divers, we discover, admire and find out so considerably about the marine globe.

The pontoon is specific to me and my dive staff because it’s our playground. We have figured out to navigate underwater all the way to the edge of the park and safely again to shore. It’s gratifying to be capable to navigate the park with a compass and the pure navigation cues, and a massive accomplishment for divers. Edmonds Underwater Park is a great spot to choose images and glimpse for appealing animals. I see the Lopez Pontoon as a cumulation of all that is wonderful in the Pacific Northwest. I love checking out the ocean, and I know what is at threat of becoming dropped as our local climate modifications. I hear tales about the sunflower sea stars that applied to dwell in the park, but now have nearly disappeared. We are blessed to uncover just one resident star that lives close to the pontoon. On each individual dive, I longingly search for this star simply because I know it signifies hope for our long term. Every of the species in the park plays an critical function in the ecosystem that fuels our planet. We can’t manage to reduce even a solitary species, for the reason that all lifestyle is linked and interdependent on every single other.

Individuals are the trigger of the destruction going on to our Earth and our underwater backyard such as ocean acidification, air pollution, overfishing and runoff. Just since most individuals simply cannot see what lies under the surface of our ocean, does not suggest it isn’t afflicted by our everyday steps. I do not want to see the lifetime at the pontoon disappear. When I see lifetime in my underwater yard afflicted by human action, I can only envision what is taking place to the rest of our ocean. We have to have to understand these issues and choose motion so we may possibly maintain our underwater planet. It is element of our extremely have backyard and our lives rely on a healthful ocean. Action starts off with each and every and just about every just one of us. I hope my photographs and stories will support you have a deeper comprehension of what lies down below the surface of our underwater backyard so you will want to explore and guard it.

Subsequent time you stroll out to the jetty at Brackett’s Landing North, appear for the blue buoys and bear in mind the incredible everyday living that exists beneath the surface area. We are lucky to get in touch with this planet dwelling along with so several other residing beings. It is our career to consider treatment of this Earth. If we have the technological innovation to fly to the moon, we have the know-how to save our planet. Instead of wanting for everyday living on Mars, let’s explore and guard the 70% of our globe that most individuals don’t know considerably about: our ocean. I wouldn’t want to dwell everywhere else!

— By Daniel Dembowy

Daniel Dembowy has been diving given that he was 10 decades old, and realized immediately that it was his enthusiasm. He is a PADI rescue diver and underwater photographer. His goal is to doc the beauty of the ocean so people can support conserve it. He attends Inglemoor Significant Faculty and enjoys his science lessons.

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