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Hundreds of tons of tsunami debris from the 2011 Japan quake, has washed up on Alaska’s shores.
Everything from docks and shipping containers to fragments of buildings and their contents, insulation, fuel tanks and drums, and of course, plastic in all shapes and sizes.
Alaskan environmental agencies have launched a massive month-long clean-up project, where tons of marine debris will picked-up from the coastline and transported to a reconfigured, football field-sized barge for eventual sorting and processing in Seattle, Wa.
The month-long clean-up is estimated to cost up to $1.3 million, with some 3,000 helicopter trips plucking 600 pound bags from the rugged Alaskan coast.
US News: Foam disintegrates, which can seep into salmon streams or be ingested by birds, Janna Stewart, state tsunami marine debris coordinator said. There’s concern, too, with the impact of broken-down plastic on marine life.
What’s not picked up can get swept back out, she said.
“It’s like it never really goes away unless we get in there and actively remove it,” Stewart said.
Read more from US News here…
by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee