Items from Asia, including buoys or consumer plastics, regularly wash up on the Washington coast, but coastal beaches are experiencing an increase in marine debris. The increase is likely a result of the March 11, 2011, tsunami that devastated Japan, claiming nearly 16,000 lives.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts tsunami debris will continue to show up on our shores intermittently during the next several years. If you spot what you suspect is debris from the Japanese tsunami, please take photos, note the location, and email the information to email@example.com.
We encourage you to remove and dispose of small debris items such as Styrofoam, plastic bottles or other portable objects. If it looks like the item might have sentimental value to those who owned it, please move the item to a safe place and email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you spot other types of marine debris on Washington beaches, here’s the number to call: 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278). Other marine debris that should be reported to the state include: oil, hazardous items, and large floating debris items that might pose a hazard to boating or navigation. You can also get instructions for reporting smaller and nonhazardous debris by calling 1-855-WACOAST.
As of July 2, NOAA says it had received 569 reports of potential tsunami debris both along West Coast shorelines and from sightings at sea. Among the items, confirmed as tsunami debris items is a 20-foot fiberglass boat that washed ashore at Cape Disappointment State Park near Ilwaco on Friday, June 15. More information
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