Cantwell, Begich: Plan now for tsunami debris

Mar 30, 2012

With a derelict Japanese fishing boat floating off the coast of Canada, U.S. senators from Alaska and Washington state say the United States needs to hurry up and get ready for more debris from last year's Japanese tsunami.

U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Mark Begich spoke at the Seattle Acquarium on Friday about concerns the U.S. hasn't committed enough money and effort toward researching the impact of the debris field floating across the Pacific Ocean.

They also worry about a proposed 25 percent cut in the money given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for shoreline cleanup. This cut would impact efforts to keep beaches clean all along the Pacific coast.

Recently, glass and plastic floats from Japan have been found on some west coast beaches. NOAA is asking beachcombers to report unusual finds to marinedebris@noaa.gov.