As my family and I were enjoying a drive down the beaches of Ocean Shores we came across a large amount of debris that we assumed were from the tsunami: laundry detergent bottles, plastic water bottles, plastic garbage bags, Styrofoam, food containers, pallets and more. This thought was confirmed after we saw a refrigerator with Japanese lettering standing upright on the beach ahead of us.
I was completely awestruck by the sight of this. I generally come to the ocean to give me a sense of peace and knowing that there is more out there than my little piece of world in Gig Harbor.
This refrigerator reminded me of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, that claimed nearly 16,000 lives, injured about 6,000 people and destroyed or damaged countless buildings. Causing many people to be without their homes, without their loved ones and without their peace.
Washington has established a toll-free reporting and information line – 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) – for citizens who spot marine debris, including potential tsunami debris, on our coastal beaches. People who call 1-855-WACOAST (1-855-922-6278) can:
- Report oil and hazardous items by pressing “1.”
- Report large floating debris items that might pose a boating or navigation hazard by pressing “2.”
- Leave a message about any other debris-related issues by pressing “3.”