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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 9, 2013 at 9:28 AM

Those heading to the coast for razor clams are asked to watch out for debris washing ashore

Those heading to the coast for the razor clam digs in the weeks and months ahead are asked to keep an eye out for marine debris.

This includes items like Styrofoam, plastic bottles and floats and other portable objects that could be related to the March 11, 2011, tsunami in Japan.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) a portion of the debris that washed into the Pacific Ocean has been arriving on U.S. and Canadian shores, including Washington.

The state Department of Ecology has trash bins located at Ocean Shores, Surfside north of Long Beach, Grayland Beach State Park near Westport and the city of Long Beach’s Bolstad Beach approach.

“While you are out walking on the ocean beach or clam digging, please help us keep our beaches clean. We are encouraging people to pick up and dispose of small, nonhazardous items like Styrofoam and leave the beaches better than they found them,” Steve Brand, State Parks field operations manager said in a news release.

Visitors can obtain litter bags at the Ocean Shores Police Department, Ocean Shores Visitor Information Center and from State Parks staff. Visitors should place bags with debris at beach approaches for pickup.

Those heading to Long Beach may call Leanna Reuss, Pacific County Emergency Management Agency, at 360-642-4482. Bags may be available at the Bolstad Beach approach near the trash bin set up for marine debris. Place full bags in the bin.

At Grayland Beach State Park pick up bags at the park office.

The public can also call the toll-free line at 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278).

Report oil and hazardous items to the National Response Center and Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) by pressing “1.”

Report large floating debris items that might pose a boating or navigation hazard by pressing “2.”

Or get instructions for reporting debris that is not large or hazardous.

Hazardous materials to watch out for include spilled oil, drums and barrels, fuel tanks and gas cylinders, chemical totes and other containers with unknown fluids. Do not touch or attempt to move such items.

NOAA encourages beachgoers and boaters, if possible, to take photos of marine debris suspected to be from the Japanese tsunami, to note the location, and to email the information to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.

If an item appears to have sentimental value to those who owned it, NOAA requests people move the item to a safe place before emailing information.

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