A crew will work through the weekend sawing pieces off the Japanese dock washed ashore on Agate Beach. Biologists are getting a closer look at sea life that came ashore with it.
Jessica Miller is a marine ecologist with Oregon State University. She says Japanese debris shows up all the time.
What’s different is that most of it is colonized by a small barnacle that’s juvenile when it arrives, and not threatening to local ecosystems.
Miller explained, “Rarely if ever has debris shown up that has adult coastal species on it. What we had in this case was a really well-made, man-made structure that was intended to float, that had two- to four years to establish a fully mature invertebrate community with algae. Then it got pulled off, and spent 14 months at sea. That combination of factors is pretty unique, if not wholly unique.”
Miller says the potential risk is hard to pin down. She’s interested in how common this kind of debris will be, and what will happen to the species scraped off the bottom of the dock as it washed ashore, and lodged in the sand.
The contractor working on the dock says progress hit a few snags this week, and will continue through the weekend.