Friday, February 24, 2012

Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Update

February 23 – Latest Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Update
On February 23, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, along with other state agencies received an update on the Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris issue. Following is the most current information NOAA has on this potential issue. As updates are made available we will post them to our website.

It is estimated that during the Earthquake and tsunami that occurred last year in Japan, approximately 25 million tons of debris was generated. This does not mean that 25 million tons of debris ended up in the sea. The quantity and composition of the debris in the sea is unknown. It is highly unlikely that there are any human remains or anything that is radioactive.

Much of the debris has dispersed over a very wide area or sunk to the bottom of the sea and is no longer detectable by satellite. Debris travel is not an exact science but experts agree that it is going every which way with the wind and the tides and is not in large concentrations.

Sightings of debris at sea have consistently gone down in number with a high of approximately 100 sightings in July, 2011 down to 0 sightings in December, 2011. Recovered debris has not been radioactive. Japanese debris has washed up on our shores for years and it is too early for some of the recent debris found on land to be from this particular event.

For more information from NOAA please go to:
If you find items on the beach and wish to report them, please email