File under yikes: later this week, Heal the Bay and the NOAA Marine Debris Program will launch an operation to monitor local beaches for debris from last year's Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The news, delivered by Malibu Patch guest blogger Dana Roeber Murray, a Heal the Bay marine and coastal scientist, comes a little over a year after the triple disaster that sent an estimated 20 to 25 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean (at the time we saw an entire house floating in the ocean). Some of the debris has already littered beaches in Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest, but none has been reported in Southern California. Regular monitoring is important because "NOAA and oceanographic experts believe the debris will continue to disperse by wind and ocean currents, and they are uncertain as to if or when we will see effects in Southern California." Because you're probably wondering, Heal the Bay's tsunami FAQ (pdf) reports that "It's highly unlikely that any tsunami-related debris is radioactive." The monitoring operation will launch on June 8.
· Will Japanese Tsunami Debris Land Here? [Malibu Patch]