Tsunami Debris

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Picture taken during a 2011 cleanup in China Poot Bay   

The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies is proud to be a statewide leader in marine debris prevention education and community cleanups through our CoastWalk program.  As debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan made its way to our shores, we provided information to the public and took part in monitoring and clean up efforts to help our statewide and national partners track debris.

The first confirmed sightings of Tsunami debris occurred in the spring of 2011. Items that float high in the water, such as buoys, were the first to arrive. CACS expanded our monitoring and cleanup efforts to include more beaches as well as hosting more frequent CoastWalks - beginning with monitoring beaches. We were able to compare the incoming data to the past 28 years of CoastWalk data collected before this disaster. This helped us determe if the type or amount of debris changed because of the tsunami.  In addition to the community cleanups, we also conducted multiple large scale remote cleanups with our partners in the state including Gulf of Alaska Keeper and the Island Trails Network. The first of those cleanups will occur on Montague Island, for more information, please contact Patrick Chandler at 907-235-6741 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Picture taken on Montague Island April 2012 by Chris Pallister

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