Multiple States Join Efforts to Address Potential Japanese Tsunami Debris Impacts

The following news release is a joint effort from state agencies in Washington, Oregon,
California, Alaska, Hawaii and British Columbia.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 12, 2012

Multiple states join efforts to address potential Japanese tsunami debris impacts

OLYMPIA – March 11, 2011 marked the anniversary of the devastating 9.0 earthquake
and tsunami that struck Japan.

Now, a year after the Japan earthquake, experts across multiple disciplines in
Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii and British Columbia are working together
with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to share information, address
public questions and encourage individual involvement and education regarding marine debris generated by the tsunami.

Nancy Wallace, director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, said: “While our
attention has been focused on debris from the disaster, we have not forgotten the true tragedy of this event, which is the loss of thousands of lives. With that in mind, we’ll continue working with West Coast states, Alaska, Hawaii, and British Columbia to reduce any impacts to our coasts and resources from the debris.”

The coordination and information sharing efforts forged during and after the Japan
tsunami also are helping strengthen the West Coast’s ability to mount a rapid, aggressive and well-coordinated response to future catastrophic events. Preparation efforts include:

The West Coast ShakeOut earthquake drill on Oct. 18, 2012.

See http://www.shakeout.org/washington/
National Tsunami Preparedness Week March 25 to 31.

See http://nthmp.tsunami.gov/
Evergreen Quake Series training, a series of three exercises intended to test the response and recovery capability of local, state, federal, tribal governments, and private sector entities located within the eight-county Puget Sound metro area.

See http://www.emd.wa.gov/training/EvergreenQuake.shtml
We encourage individuals and organizations to participate in events such as these as part of their preparedness plans.

A year ago, local, state, provincial and federal authorities on the North American West Coast also worked in partnership to provide crucial and timely information about the potential effects of and response to the Japan tsunami.

The catastrophic event claimed nearly 16,000 lives and left thousands more injured and displaced. An additional 3,100 are missing and presumed dead. The Japanese people are continuing to rebuild their nation while dealing with the aftermath of a crippled nuclear power complex in Fukushima Prefecture, which was damaged in the disaster.

Media Contacts:

Linda Kent, Washington Department of Ecology, 360-407-6239 or 360-491-9830 (cell)
Dianna Parker, NOAA Marine Debris Program, 301-713-4248, ext 103

For more information:

Washington Department of Ecology Japanese tsunami debris blog: http://ecologywa.blogspot.com/search/label/tsunami%20debris

NOAA Japanese Tsunami Debris blog: http://marinedebrisblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/one-year-later-japan-tsunami-aftermath-and-debris/

Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris FAQ: http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/info/japanfaqs.html

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