Dirty Shores Ahead

Last year in March, news of a massive tsunami in Japan filled the headlines of newspapers.   Now, over a year later, 1.5 million tons of debris from this tsunami is expected to become a problem in Alaska and throughout shores of Canada, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, and California.   Recent studies of beach debris conducted by NOAA haven’t yielded significant amounts of debris connected to the tsunami yet, however they do anticipate it to cause more of a problem over the next five years or so.   NOAA has developed a system for the public to report any debris they find that may be a result of the tsunami. The issue with this debris is that it may contain harmful chemicals or waste that can be released into our fisheries habitats.   Another concern is the possibility of invasive species attached to the debris being introduced into local ecosystems and disrupting species relationships.   With this in mind, NOAA is putting money towards removal of marine debris in the affected states in hopes that we can manage to prevent the negative impacts this event may have on our fisheries.



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