As you know, in 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Japan, causing tsunami waves up to 133 feet high to crash onshore. Almost 16,000 people were killed in this event, a human tragedy on a massive scale. The devastation also caused in an estimated 1.5 million tons of buoyant debris to wash into the Pacific Ocean currents, and a portion of that debris will end up on the U.S. west coast. NOAA and the California Coastal Commission are organizing a west coast wide monitoring program to assess the impact to our shore.
It is important to note that the tsunami washed this debris out to sea days before the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant released radioactive waters into the ocean, so it is considered highly unlikely that any of the debris that washes up in California will be radioactive.
As the local partner, the Noyo Center will be conducting regular beach surveys in early December. We are now recruiting volunteers to conduct surveys at the following beaches, at a minimum:
- Ten Mile
- Jug Handle
It is our hope that we can collaborate with other organizations already conducting beach surveys for other purposes to increase our effective reach in Mendocino County. Please join Noyo Center staff and volunteers for the next survey:
When: Saturday, April 22nd, 9am-12noon
Contact: Sarah Grimes, Tsunami Debris Coordinator