BC's Japan Tsunami Debris Problem

Maybe Japan could pay the whaling ships or use some of the relief funds they are using to whale on cleaning up the garbage?

BC’s Japan Tsunami Debris Problem

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 Trevor Williams

Image courtesy U.S. Navy.

Debris from the March 11th 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami is rapidly approaching the BC coastline and in some places, is already here. The debris, estimated between 18 to 20 million tons, is expected to contain over 200,000 homes that were demolished in the earthquake and tsunami. That mass of debris, will also include fridges, homes, cars, tires and all manner of everyday objects. Surprisingly, it is about the same amount of trash that enters the pacific ocean in a year, but this all happened in a day and it is clumping together, forming ‘debris islands’.

Image courtesy U.S. Navy.

The US Navy has been tracking the debris, and reports that some of the debris islands are up to 69 miles (111kms) long and the debris clusters are a danger to shipping, potentially capable of putting holes in hulls or fouling engines and propellers. This is another example of how truly connected we all are on our planet, how the ocean currents touch continents thousands of miles apart, how fragile human existence can be and what a mess we often leave behind that affects not only humans, animals but the whole eco-system.

Image courtesy U.S. Navy.

In Tofino, BC, many residents believe the debris is already arriving at the world-renowned west coast mecca for surfing. They have found plastic water bottles with Japanese writing, toothbrushes and even socks. If the debris arrives as predicted, then their surf business and holiday vacationers may disappear…

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