June 15, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Boat washed ashore may be from Japanese tsunami
An approximately 20-foot boat that washed ashore Friday at Cape Disappointment State Park in Pacific County is being studied to see if it was swept from one of last year’s Japanese tsunamis.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with the Japanese consulate in Seattle to find out if the boat came from Japan and to locate the owner.
Several state and federal agencies will continue evaluating the boat’s origin and make sure no hazardous materials such as oil are also washing up on Pacific Northwest shorelines, according to a press release from the Washington Department of Ecology.
The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission asked the public to stay clear of the boat in Ilwaco as the state Department of Fish and Wildlife stream cleans the vessel to remove potential invasive plant and animal species. A 65-foot dock that was swept onto Central Oregon’s coast in early June contained about two tons of sea life including invasive species.
Reports of debris thought to be carried over the Pacific Ocean from last year’s tsunamis in Japan have increased over the last month.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, who has repeatedly sought more federal funding for tsunami debris cleanup, said she still wants the federal government to be taking the financial and administrative lead on the project on Friday.
“The debris from the tragic tsunami in Japan is a national problem,” Cantwell said. “West Coast states and communities cannot and should not carry the burden and cost of dealing with tsunami debris on our own.”
According to one of Cantwell’s press releases, the floating debris field from Japanese tsunamis is five times the size of Washington state.
The Washington Department of Ecology is asking anyone encounterig oil or hazardous materials on Washington beaches to call 1-800-OILS-911.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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