Monday, March 18, 2013

Washington Dock due for Removal by Airlifting; More Large Debris Washes Ashore

Washington Dock to Be Removed via Airlift

The dock that washed ashore in December on a remote stretch of beach in the Olympic National Park now has a 'concrete' plan for removal (Clever, eh?).  Constructed of cement, rebar, and foam, the dock has presented itself as a formidable problem for park officials.  The dock is accessible only by trails, and is on a rocky stretch of shoreline that is too dangerous for boat removal.

The dock's removal plan is something out of an action movie:
Equipment will be flown in via helicopter, and the dock, which has sunk into sand and cobble due to winter weather, will be dug out and exposed.

Next, the dock will be cut into smaller pieces, with care to prevent the large amounts of foam which gave the dock its buoyancy, from escaping into the environment.  Foam pieces will be removed via airlift as soon as they are exposed.  Once the dock is in small enough pieces to transport, they will be airlifted to private land, where they will then be trucked off for disposal.

Workers ready to remove tsunami dock from Wash. coast
Dock washed ashore on a rocky stretch of the Olympic National Park. [Photo:]
The area where this will be occurring- Goodman Creek to Jefferson Cove- will be closed to all public entry until the dock is removed.

No news yet whether this was successful.

Boat with Japanese Writing Washes Up In Southern Oregon

Yet another boat with Japanese writing has washed ashore in Oregon- this time further south in the coastal dune town of Florence.  The boat is about 24 feet long and was spotted by volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation at Muriel Ponsler Memorial Wayside Beach.

The boat hasn't been definitively identified as tsunami debris, but it very well could be.  It was removed and taken to the local landfill.

Workers remove boat washes ashore last week in Florence, Oregon. [Photo: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department]
Japanese Government Allocates Debris Funds

As noted in previous entries, Japan has allocated $5 million dollars to the United States (and an additional $1 million to Canada) for the cleanup of tsunami debris (far outreaching the US's own contribution of $150,000 divided between three states).  The $5 million is initially being divided by NOAA into $250,000 each for Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii. 

The rest of the funds will be put into a reserve for use as the need arises, since the final effects and distribution of tsunami debris on US shores is still unknown.

Refrigerator-Sized Chunk of Debris removed from Hawaii's shores
On March 11th, a large piece of debris washes ashore in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve in Maui, Hawaii by a member of the Citizen's Advisory Council for the reserve.

The piece of debris is not definitely Japanese, but was abnormally large for normal marine debris. The large box-shaped item, which was covered in non-Native mussels and barnacles, was removed by helicopter the next day.


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