Finally, former Mayor Mark McConnell’s idea has finally come to pass at South Beach. A piece of the Japanese Tsunami Dock, part of a Tsunami Exhibit at Hatfield Marine Science Center, is in place, right outside the entrance to the HMSC Visitors Center.
The seven ton portion of the dock that washed ashore at Agate Beach last June 4th is sitting outside the center, perched on a pedestal with wavy accouterments at the bottom that mirror the same design as those that line the stairwells on the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Nice touch!
The piece was delivered and put into place at around 10:45am Friday, with the final resting position applauded by a small, but appreciative crowd. The piece will be cleaned up and a plaque affixed to it with a commemorative narrative about the 2011 Japanese Earthquke and Tsunami that wrenched the dock from its moorings in Misawa, Japan. Four were blown out of the water by the tsunami that followed the earthquake. Two were recovered inland of Misawa. Two others drifted across the Pacific Ocean to the U.S. West Coast; one in Newport, the other on the Olympic Peninsula just north of where Highway 101 takes a decidedly hard turn to the east and away from the ocean.
Meanwhile, Hatfield Marine Science Center officials have scheduled an official Commemoration Celebration for the dock piece’s addition to their Tsunami Education Program. That celebration is set for 2pm, March 10, at the visitors center. Plans for what to do with the rest of the tsunami dock piece are still be developing by those who are considering whether a piece of it might be appropriately placed somewhere along the Bayfront as not only a tourist attraction but also as a reminder to be aware of one’s location along the Bayfront in the event of an earthquake as well as proper notification of the appropriate escape routes to higher ground in that a tsunami would be presumably generated at the same time.
Earlier detailed references to specific locations as to where the dock would go an how the project may be funded were incorrect according to Bob Ward, who is coordinating the upgrade to the Sea Lion Dock on the Bayfront. NewsLincolnCounty.com was told by multiple sources of the information contained in the original references to a specific area along the Bayfront and possible funding mechanisms. We’ll see how it plays out.