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A Newport woman walking with her dog on the beach Thursday morning just north of Jump Off Joe came across a wood building support loaded with sea life and crawly things, some quite small. A fishing float and other debris nearby with Japanese writing on it piqued her curiosity and within the hour Invasive Species expert Dr. John Chapman of Hatfield Marine Science Center was on the beach gathering samples riding atop and within a number of objects on the beach that had just come ashore.
Dr. Chapman said some of the species were likely from Japan. He said he found red, green and brown algae, byozoans, hydroids, wood boring clams and crustaceans. Also bright green algae that is likely from Japan.
Dr. Chapman said there is a big research push on to build an analytical framework to map out how species from one part of the Pacific makes it to the shores of another part of the Pacific. He said it’s especially interesting in this day and age because of the huge number of docks, boats and other urban development that has sprung up along the Japanese Coast, pieces of which, in the event of a tsunami,could provide rides for native species around the Pacific to expand their range.
Dr. Chapman says anyone spotting such debris along Oregon’s beaches and estuaries should immediately report them to 211 and be prepared to give an accurate description of exactly where they found the debris.