SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- Beach goers may be finding more debris from the tsunami that hit Japan back in 2011. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates most of the debris will arrive on the California coast in March.
Over 5 million tons of debris washed ashore after the tragic Japanese tsunami. "Japanese government officials estimate that 1.5-million of those tons was buoyant enough to wash into Pacific Ocean currents," said Kylee Singh, of the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County.
Debris from Japan has already made it to California shores, as early as August of last year. One of the largest items to date, a dock found in Oregon. Authorities said it originated from the port of Misawa in Japan. "These docks are very scarey pieces of particles or debris because they bring over invasive species," said Singh.
Some claim debris has made its way to central coast shores as well. For example, a hand soap container with Japanese labeling was found in Cambria last April. Experts said it is highly unlikely that any of the debris that washes up on the California coast will be radioactive, in fact each item they have found and confirmed it to be from Japan has tested negative. As of last month NOAA said they've received about 14 hundred debris reports only 20 items have so far been determined as tsunami debris.
According to NOAA, the worst case scenario is that boats and other heavy object will wash up in sensitive areas and the best case scenario is the debris will break up, disperse and decompose.
ECOSLO will be hosting a clean up at Montana De Oro on March 9th.
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