Possible tsunami debris found on local beach

Dave Brooksher

Redwood Times

Some unidentified items were found recently on the Lost Coast, roughly a mile south of the mouth of the Mattole River near the high tide line.

Two pieces of marine debris found near Petrolia may be related to last spring’s tsunami in Japan. Marine debris has always been present on the California coast, and some of it does come from Asia - so it’s difficult to be certain of any connection to the tsunami.

Between the Japanese text and severe damage to the material, however, it seems like a distinct possibility. Still, despite hundreds of reported sightings over the last 12 months - only 15 have been definitively traced back to the tsunami, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

These photographs were taken last week by Arcata resident Shane Meyer, who located these objects while hiking on the Lost Coast, roughly a mile south of the Mattole River, before the lighthouse. They were stuck in a pile of seaweed near the high-tide line.

Members of the public who find suspected tsunami-debris are encouraged to contact NOAA’s tsunami debris program by email, disasterdebris@noaa.gov. You can also find safety guidelines for handling tsunami debris on NOAA’s website, http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris/.

photo caption:


This chunk of debris with Japanese writing on it was found near Petrolia.