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Washington Department of
Fish & Wildlife

Main Office
Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501
360-902-2200
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Mailing Address
600 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501-1091

Phil Anderson
Director

 

 
How to Report Tsunami Debris

Some large tsunami debris, such as metal drums, boats and docks, may contain hazardous substances or invasive species.  If you find debris that may pose a life-threatening risk, call 911 immediately.  Report other tsunami-related debris to the Washington State Marine debris hotline:

1-855-WACOAST
1-855-922-6278

It is especially important for the public to report hazardous substances, vessels or large debris in the water or on the shoreline.

If you believe the debris may be contaminated with aquatic invasive species (AIS), please use the online Invasive Species Reporting Form.

Contact DisasterDebris@noaa.gov with all other marine debris concerns and questions.

Tsunami Debris News

January 28th, 2013 Tsunami Debris Discovery - View Image Gallery
Large marine debris was discovered by Darryl Miller, a private citizen, on January 28th, 2013 after it had washed ashore at Beard's Hollow near Seaview, WA – southernmost end of Longbeach. Park Ranger Brandon Erickson of Cape Disappointment State Park responded to the call around 5 pm and found a 19'4" long by 3' diameter metal cylinder with 3'X3'X 3/4" thick base plates. Several appendages protrude out from the cylinder with the two larger “feet” acting like a keel to maintain a fairly constant orientation while floating. No identification plates or metal-stamped information was found to help identify originating location. The debris was reported to the state Marine Debris Response program around 6 pm. Photographs of the debris showed heavy marine growth with likely coastal species that may support its being JTMD. Due to the late hour and tide, state response was postponed until the following day.

WA Parks removed the cylinder the following morning at low tide using a backhoe and secured it to a flatbed trailer. The cylinder and trailer were eventually taken to a Park’s maintenance facility near Ilwaco. WDFW Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) response staff arrived at the facility around 1:30 pm and were able to devote almost four hours to sample collection as the debris no longer required decontamination after being removed from the beach. Staff noted that pelagic gooseneck barnacles (common in open sea) were the dominant marine organism, but there were also a diverse assortment of coastal species including algae, mussels, and barnacles. WDFW began a systematic sampling of marine organisms found on the cylinder to identify what species were present and estimate total biomass by species. Samples were sorted into ziplock bags and placed in a cooler with ice. Some algae samples were processed and placed in an algal press. 

The following day, several of the specimens were photographed in the WDFW lab and then the samples were repacked and sent to Oregon State University for identification by experts.

June 15, 2012 Tsunami Debris Discovery - View Image Gallery
A 21 foot fiberglass boat washed up June 15, 2012 on Benson Beach at Cape Disappointment State Park just north of the Columbia River. The boat was confirmed to be debris from the Japanese tsunami. The boat hull exhibited extensive encrusting with gooseneck barnacles (not invasive). After it was removed from the beach it was decontaminated with the help of Park staff.