Friday, July 13, 2012
Happy Summer! I hope everyone in the Northwest is enjoying the fabulous summer weather (now that summer has finally arrived here!) I am also sending positive thoughts of better weather to those that are experience extreme weather challenges this year.
The information below was sent to me by the Puget Sound Partnership, announcing a new WA State phone number for us all to be aware of, and to share with citizens/students regarding reporting of Marine Debris. This number is specifically for the tsunami debris, but “probably” secondarily the garbage patch debris too (which personally I think should be referred to as a gigantic “stew” and not a patch.)
There is also a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration email if an item appears to have sentimental value to those who owned it. In this case NOAA requests that people move the item to a safe place and email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thanks for reading and sharing!
Resource Stewards, LLC
WA State announces toll-free line to report marine debris on beaches
by Linda Kent, Communications and Education Office
Washington State has a new toll-free reporting and information line – 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) – that citizens can call if they spot marine debris on our coastal beaches. Our outer beaches have been experiencing an uptick in marine debris, especially Styrofoam and plastic bottles, most likely resulting from the March 11, 2011, tsunami that devastated Japan, claiming nearly 16,000 lives.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a portion of the tsunami debris that washed into the Pacific Ocean has been arriving on U.S. and Canadian shores, including Washington. On June 15, a 20-foot fiberglass boat washed ashore at Cape Disappointment State Park near Ilwaco. The Japanese consulate in Seattle confirmed the boat came from Japan and was swept out to sea by the tsunami.
NOAA predicts tsunami debris will show up on our shores intermittently during the next several years. However, it is unknown where and what types of debris might arrive.
In Washington, Ecology is one of several state agencies with a response role as Japanese tsunami debris washes up on our shores. Others include the departments of Fish and Wildlife, Health, Military-Emergency Management Division, Natural Resources, and Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. We are working closely with NOAA to assess and evaluate potential tsunami debris affects to:
• Our coastal communities.
• The public’s health.
• Our beaches, lands and environment.
This effort also includes working with our local and tribal government partners to help ensure that any needed response is well coordinated.
People who call 1-855-WACOAST can:
• Report oil and hazardous items to the National Response Center and Ecology by pressing “1.”
• Report large floating debris items that might pose a boating or navigation hazard by pressing “2.”
• Get instructions for reporting debris that is not large or hazardous.
Citizens visiting our coastal beaches are also encouraged to remove and dispose of small debris items such as Styrofoam, plastic, bottles, other synthetic materials, glass and metal.
If an item appears to have sentimental value to those who owned it, NOAA requests that people move the item to a safe place and email the information to email@example.com.
More about tsunami debris
• Widely scattered debris has been arriving intermittently along Pacific Northwest shorelines. For more information, go to: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/japanfaqs.html#FAQs.
• NOAA is actively collecting information about tsunami debris and asks the public to report debris sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Ecology’s Japanese tsunami debris Web page: www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/itn01_debris.html
• Washington Department of Health believes it is highly unlikely any tsunami debris is radioactive. Go to: www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/EmergencyPreparednessandResponse/FukushimaUpdate/TsunamiDebrisFAQ.aspx