It’s amazing how long tsunami debris can last at sea and then come ashore on the west coast of the North American continent. And it’s equally amazing that Asian critters, aka “invasive species,” seem to survive that long journey as they ride atop or below the waterline on small boats, pieces of building materials – even plastic water bottles.
Scientists have noticed an uptick in west coast “landfalls” for tsunami debris nearly four years after the Japanese Sendai earthquake in March of 2011 shoved it all eastward across the sea. Debris arrivals along the U.S. west coast, some packed with invasive species, have defied the “conventional wisdom” that North America has been well protected from invasive species over the eons thanks to the sheer size of the Pacific Ocean. But invasive species experts like Dr. John Chapman at Hatfield Marine Science Center says, as long as there are earthquakes that generate tsunamis, those huge walls of water will continue to come ashore, grab everything in their path, pull it back seaward and then leave it to the ocean currents to determine where it ends up.
Here’s more from Hatfield Marine Science Center. Click here.