Information on efforts to address marine debris resulting from the 2011 Japanese Tsunami

Credit: US Navy

On March 11 of 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake stuck off the coast of Tōhoku, Japan and generated a tsunami wave that washed debris from land into the Pacific Ocean. Some of the debris washed into the ocean is expected to reach U.S. and Canadian shores over the next several years.

Efforts are already moving forward to bring information together on the event. For guidelines on handling Tsunami debris, model estimates of the debris path, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and news updates, please visit the following webpages:

Thank You Ocean Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Web Portal
Thank You Ocean provides a go-to site describing what the state and federal governments are doing to address this issue, and what you should do if you see Japan Tsunami marine debris. Check out the Thank You Ocean podcast on this topic to learn more from experts.

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Japan Tsunami Marine Debris
NOAA is leading efforts with federal, state, and local partners to collect data, assess the debris, and reduce possible impacts to our natural resources and coastal communities.

Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Joint Information Center
This Joint Information Center is a multi-agency public information and education site.  The information provided here is intended to provide a convenient “one stop shop” to access official information, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources regarding the anticipated increase in ocean debris along the coastlines of the Pacific Ocean.  Reliable and accurate information is the number one goal.

Pacific Coast Collaborative Workplan on Japanese Tsunami Debris
The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington, and the Premier of British Columbia have announced that they will collaborate to manage potential marine debris from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Leaders agree to develop a joint communication strategy, share safety protocols for volunteers, and work with the Japanese government.

Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Volunteer Debris Removal Guidelines
This guideline document is meant to provide technical support to local, state, and federal agencies and non-profit volunteer organizations tasked with removing debris, including potentially contaminated marine debris, and marine debris generated by the 2011 Japan Tsunami. It was developed by the California Coastal Commission in support of the California Tsunami Marine Debris Multiagency Advisory Coordination Group (MAC-G).

Seven Governors ask for increased Federal government support to respond to Japanese tsunami debris – July 18th, 2012
The Governors of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern  Mariana Islands jointly address letter to President Obama asking for increased Federal government support towards response efforts to the Japanese Tsunami marine debris.