Saturday, June 9, 2012
Japanese Tsunami Debris
Debris continues to wash up on the west coast of North America from the Japanese tsunami in March, 2011. Here at home, in Newport, Oregon, a commercial dock swept up on a popular beach this week.
While scientists expect much of the floating debris to follow prevailing currents to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an accumulation of millions of tons of small bits of plastic floating in the northern Pacific, tsunami debris that can catch the wind is making its way to North America. In recent weeks a soccer ball washed up in Alaska and a Harley Davidson motorcycle in a shipping container was found in British Columbia, Canada.
The immediate concern was that invasive species from Japan living on the dock could find a new home here. The dock has been stripped of a ton and a half of marine organisms and awaits it's fate. A poignant reminder of how interconnected our diverse ecosystem is.