Thursday, February 28, 2013

Debris Piling Up, OMDT Workshops on Debris Clean Up

Debris piling up on the shores of Hawaii and Alaska
The states of Alaska and Hawaii are experiencing spikes in the amount of debris being deposited on beaches, possibly due to strong Pacific weather fronts pushing debris inshore.

In Alaska, provided funds are proving insufficient to deal with the sheer volume of debris that is washing up, leaving beaches covered in not only lighter debris like water bottles and foam, but also appliances, household items and metal refuse.  The remoteness of many Alaskan beaches has made cleanup even more difficult for volunteers and organizations striving to keep up.

Meanwhile, citizens of Hawaii are also reporting increases in debris as of last week.  The Surfrider Foundation has been cataloging debris, including large volumes of foam, plastic, and fishing gear.

Marine debris on the Hawaiian coast (not a current image)

Debris Cleanup Workshops- Hawaii and Oregon
For those of you who are interested in lending a hand in cleanup, several organizations are beginning to offer educational and training workshops on marine debris (specifically Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris).

In Honolulu, Hawaii, a symposium entitled "3/11 Tsunami Debris: Japan-US Collaborative Effort" will be offered at the Hawaii Convention Center (Room 323) in Honolulu.  Representatives from Japan will be joined by NOAA, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Health and Coast Guard.

You can find more information on the symposium here.


The Oregon Marine Debris Team will be offering a series of workshops on marine debris cleanup for those interested.  The 15 workshops will be held from the end of February to mid-April in a variety of coastal locations, including Coos Bay on March 13, Reedsport on March 20 and Florence on March 5, as listed by OMDT's website.

The workshops will discuss volunteer opportunities, what to do with marine debris, cleanup safety, and updates on the status of marine debris, NOAA's predictions, and information on the earthquake and tsunami.

If you would like to be updated with upcoming workshops and other OMDT news, visit this page and fill out the form for email updates.

Good luck out there!

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