NOAA to use Japanese funds to partially cover disposal costs of docks washed ashore after tsunami

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Japanese Dock washes up in Washington

Ever since tsunami debris first began washing up along the coastline of the Pacific Northwest, people have been asking two questions, “who is going to clean it up?”, and “who is going to pay for removal?”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that it would use funds from the Japanese government to cover nearly 80% of the costs for the removal and disposal of a dock which washed ashore in the state of Washington after the March 11th tsunami.

This is the first instance where the NOAA has elected to draw from a pool of some $5 million dollars provided by the Japanese government in December of 2012, in order to help clean up tsunami debris.  Like other government agencies, the automatic “sequestration” spending cuts which kicked in on Friday, combined with the lack of a federal budget for the 2013 fiscal year, have left the NOAA scrambling for options with no easy solution at hand.

The NOAA has already declared a “severe marine debris event” in response to the ever increasing amounts of tsunami debris, which are relentlessly washing ashore up and down the West Coast of North America from Hawaii up to Alaska, but the worst is seemingly still to come.  Scientists have predicted that the bulk of the debris will arrive over the next three years.  Biologists have warned that many of the objects in the debris field contain invasive marine species which may have unforeseen impacts on Pacific Northwest wildlife and the environment in the future.

Source: JiJi Press

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