That big block of concrete you see out in front of Oregon Undersea Gardens on the Bayfront is what it appears to be – another piece of the Japanese Tsunami Dock that washed ashore at Agate Beach on June 4th of last year. It was ripped away from it’s pier moorages in Misawa Japan on March 11, 2011 by a massive tsunami that followed a 8.9 richter earthquake.
The dock was sawed up into five pieces and carried away to an industrial area in Sherwood. However, a large section of the dock was returned to Newport from which was cut a portion that now sits in front of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in South Beach. This particular section on the Bayfront was awarded to business interests who wanted a portion of their own to be located prominently where many tourists will see it.
And prominent it is – lodged in the brickwork directly in front of Oregon Undersea Gardens just west of Hatfield Drive. Business owners who raised money to get a piece of the dock placed on the Bayfront said they wanted it displayed in hopes of not only attracting tourists who didn’t get to see the dock as so many tens of thousands did back in the summer of 2012, but those who did and would like another moment with it to honor the tens of thousands of Japanese men, women and children who died in the ferocious tsunami that pulverized their coastline.
In addition, there will be placed upon the dock-piece information about the fact that the Oregon Coast gets periodic tectonic-generated earthquakes, much like that which struck Japan in 2011. And they say they will post information on the dock-piece to inform locals and visitors alike which way to walk/run to higher ground right after the next “big one” hits the Oregon Coast so they are not caught by a massive tsunami that will surely follow the earthquake, much like what happened in Japan.