Tsunami Debris and the West Coast

The Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, the Honorable Hiroshi Inomata, recently invited several Japan related organizations including JETAANC to discuss debris from last year’s tsunami expected to start washing up on the west coast.  The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has tracked the debris since the disaster struck northern Japan on 3/11/2011.

The discussion covered a variety of topics. No idea was considered too crazy: sending volunteers to Japan to assist with reconstruction, developing a partnership with the Peace Boat organization, using naval vessels to collect debris before it washed up on beaches, etc.  The Consulate described official efforts to engage Americans at the national, state and grass-roots level.  Recent efforts included participation in the annual  California Coastal Cleanup Day.

While the immediate concern lies with debris from the 3/11 tsunami, the discussion also covered the issue of general ocean pollution and its effects throughout the Pacific ocean.  The participants resolved to work more closely on the issue.  JETAANC has offered to try to identify an alum or friend of JET with expertise and/or a passion for the ocean who is willing to work as a volunteer on behalf of the alumni association with other local organizations on the west coast to address the issue of tsunami debris and ocean pollution.  Please contact president@jetaanc.org, if you are interested in helping with the project.