Japanese Tsunami Debris Continues to Wash Ashore
Volunteers and government workers are regularly patrolling the beaches of the Pacific Northwest. They are looking for, and picking up, debris that has come ashore from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. From the islands off Alaska to Washington and Oregon, more and more debris is being found on the shore that clearly originated in Japan.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program has set up a series of pages concerning the tsunami debris problem. They are tracking reports of debris finds and working with other federal, state and local authorities regarding cleanup and safety issues.
Man made debris is constantly washing ashore. The tsunami debris is increasing that amount, but until about March 2012 it was unclear if the debris had begun to arrive in North America. In March, the Japanese fishing vessel Ryou-Un Maru was found adrift off the British Columbia / Alaska coast.
The Ryou-Un Maru was identified by Japanese authorities as debris from the tsunami nearly thirteen months before. It has been docked when the waves struck. The Coast Guard cutter Anacapa was ordered to sink the derelict as a menace to navigation on April 5, 2012.
In May, a large dock came ashore in Oregon. Its marking identified it as one of several that were lost in the tsunami. The dock presented several problems. It was the largest piece of tsunami debris to come ashore. It was also covered with various plants and animals that were not native to the Oregon coast.
The dock was cleaned to remove the “foreign” wildlife. The contract to demolish the grounded dock has been issued to Ballard Diving and Salvage, at a cost of $84,155. The work is expected to be performed the week of July 30.
Also found among the tsunami debris was a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It was in some sort of storage cube that was carried out to sea by the tsunami and drifted to the British Columbia coast.
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This entry was posted on Monday, July 9th, 2012 at 8:00 am and is filed under Disasters, Disasters, Earthquake Japan, Original writing, Original writing, Reporting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.