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Marine debris at Gleneden Beach removed without incident

Tsunami Debris
Boat suspected to be Japan tsunami debris
washed up on Gleneden beach on Feb. 5, 2013. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife photo.
Download high resolution photo.

Feb. 7, 2013

Gleneden OR -- A derelict 27’ boat that washed ashore near Gleneden Beach Feb. 5 was safely removed from ocean shore 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6. The incident is a reminder that both usual and tsunami-related debris require year-round attention. People who sight unusual amounts of debris can report it by calling 211 (1-800-SAFENET), or by sending an email to beach.debris@state.or.us.

The craft was removed by Drayton Excavation and taken to a local landfill. Biologists Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and a team of scientists from Oregon State University -- Jessica Miller, John Chapman, and Gayle Hansen -- inspected the debris. They noted several specimens, such as the non-native Japanese acorn barnacle (Megabalanus rosa) were attached. Scientists at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center are evaluating the samples. It will be a month or more before other organisms on the boat are positively identified.

While debris bearing marine organisms has crossed the Pacific Ocean before, tsunami-related debris seen so far is different from the usual flotsam. Large groups of living organisms, transported on objects that provide some shelter from the elements, introduce a more significant challenge than the usual, smaller volume of debris common on the west coast. Public reports and photos of beach debris sent to beach.debris@state.or.us are shared between state park and wildlife officials and help them decide which pieces of debris require further investigation.

While the boat resembles debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the exact origin of this object has not been determined.

Online resources from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Photos of the Gleneden debris

Marine Aquatic Invasive Species, Japanese Tsunami Debris

   

Contact:

Chris Havel, Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept., (d) 503-986-0722, (c) 503-931-2590
Meg Kenagy, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 503-947-6021

 
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