west coast news outlets have reported, remnants of the 2011 Japanese tsunami
have already started showing up on the shores of the U.S. This sea-voyaging
debris has littered both the headlines and beaches, and Kodiak is no exception.
Schroeder is the executive director and founder of Island Trails Network, a
local organization that builds and maintains trails across the island, in
addition cleaning up marine debris. Schroeder and his trail crew recently
returned from a beach clean up in Halibut Bay, where he said relics from the
tsunami have begun to gather.
-- (Tsunami Debris 1 :43 "You
almost can't take any single piece of marine debris and tie it to the tsunami,
but there are some new pieces of debris that have been showing up in great
numbers that didn't show up before the tsunami, and this year they multiplied
ten-fold. And those two items are large 30-50 gallon cylinders, solid cylinders
of polystyrene. So it's shaped like a barrel but it's just a solid cylinder if
Styrofoam. And the other one is an olive shaped rigid float with eyes on either
end of it. So both of them are roughly the same size, one person can pick them
up, they're a little smaller than a 55 gallon drum, and those have been showing
up by the thousands.")
it's more than just a coincidence when they show up in those numbers.
-- (Tsunami Debris 2 : 39 "I've
seen photos and I read the writings and blogs of Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who's
an oceanographer in Seattle
and an authority on the subject. And he says that those olive shaped rigid
floats are part of the aquaculture industry in Japan, specifically oyster farming.
So those are oyster floats, as we call them. And those oyster floats were
inundated by the tsunami, they were all washed out and I have even seen photos
of after the tsunami, of different bays and Japan that were littered with these
things. So we know that that piece of debris is all over the ocean. And when
they started showing up here in these numbers, well you can put two and two
together and say yes we are seeing debris from the tsunami.")
isn't surprised that these are the first to show up on Kodiak, seeing as their
lite weight quality allows them to travel greater distances by wind, rather
than currents. He said he is worried about the forecast these floats might be for
the amount of debris heading our way.
-- (Tsunami Debris 3 : 15 "But
all predictions say that in the next two to three years we'll see all the rest
of it. So if the oyster floats are any indication, we are at the beginning of
several years of increased debris showing up on our beaches, and we want to be
ready for that.")
The ITN crew heads back to
Halibut Bay today (Tuesday) for a third clean up this season. It will be the
fifth trip they have taken to the bay over the past two years.