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Water | Environment

Scientists Find Japanese Writing, Invasives On Likely Tsunami Debris Dock

Researchers inspect dock washed ashore on an Olympic Peninsula beach.

Researchers inspect dock washed ashore on an Olympic Peninsula beach.

National Park Service

A marine biologist has found invasive species clinging to a large floating dock that washed ashore in Olympic National Park earlier this week. Oregon State University Professor Jessica Miller was part of a tsunami debris response team that hiked to the remote landing site Friday. Miller says the dock with Japanese writing on it is being pounded and “sandblasted” by high surf.

Miller said, “It’s clear that a large amount of the biomass has been removed and released into Washington coastal waters. There’s a high likelihood that those were all smashed to bits and pieces in the process which would obviously reduce the risk that they could establish (here).”

Miller also examined a very similar floating concrete dock that beached near Newport, Oregon last June. She says that piece of tsunami debris was much more heavily encrusted by Asian marine life when she got to it compared to this one.

The National Park Service has not yet decided whether to try to decontaminate the new Japanese dock remnant. Unfavorable tides will prevent further access to the remote location until the New Year.

(This was first reported by the Northwest News Network.)

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