MORE Tsunami Debris From Japan Floats Up to Northwest Coasts
Washington and Oregon wildlife officials are looking over the latest arrival of tsunami visitors from Japan. The massive earthquake that triggered the tidal wave and wiped out the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011 continues to bring a variety of items to the Washington and Oregon shorelines.
The latest arrivals include a large 19-foot long piece of pipe, 3 feet wide, with end caps. Officials don't know what it came from, but are not going to be able to pinpoint the exact place because of a lack of markings. Besides the massive dock that washed ashore last year on the Oregon coast, another 66-foot piece of dock was found in December on a remote beach near Forks, WA .
While these tsunami items have created some tourist buzz, especially the large docks, the Washington Marine Debris Task Force says the larger pieces have to be monitored and examined to make sure they don't have invasive plant or animal species attached.
Fish and Wildlife officials spent several weeks cleaning and dismantling the massive concrete and steel dock that washed up on the Oregon coast last summer. It was covered with plant species that could have had significant impacts on our ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Officials said if these foreign species had been allowed to take root along the coastline, they could have spread, wreaking havoc on native plant life, even affecting animal populations that eat them.