Another piece of sacred Japanese building caught up in the 2011 tsunami – comes ashore in Florence
Report from Oregon Dept. of Parks and Recreation
What appears to be another part of a torii (sacred arch) was removed from the ocean shore near Florence about mid-day on Tuesday, April 9. Leisure Excavating from Florence transported it from the Siuslaw River South Jetty to a nearby state park maintenance compound for safekeeping.
The object appears to be a kasagi — the top, horizontal part of a torii — similar in appearance to an object removed from the ocean shore near Oceanside on March 25. It is approximately 14′ long and 3′ wide and painted black and red. The Consular Office of Japan in Portland has been contacted about this second find. The exact origins of both the Oceanside and the Siuslaw South Jetty objects are not yet known.
The object was first reported by a visitor late in the evening of April 8th. State park staff responded early in the morning on Tuesday to begin removal.
Anyone can report unusual amounts or kinds of marine debris by calling 211 while on the coast. Unpainted, raw pieces of wood do not need to be reported, even if they have notches or holes cut into them. Regular beach clean-ups are organized by the Oregon Marine Debris Team, a nonprofit coalition. Sign up to volunteer online at http://tinyurl.com/oregonmarinedebris
Possible tsunami debris Japanese writing on bow On beach near Florence
Transported to a landfill Contained possible invasive species
State Parks photos
Derelict boat found and removed from Muriel Ponsler Memorial Wayside beach north of Florence
Report from Oregon Parks and Recreation
Florence OR – A 24′ non-motorized boat was removed from the beach near Muriel Ponsler Wayside north of Florence at 7 pm Thursday. Leisure Excavating from Florence transported it to a local landfill.
No pollution or other hazardous materials were detected, but there was marine life clinging to the debris. According to ODFW biologist Steve Rumrill, gooseneck barnacles, mussels, seaweeds and other marine organisms were attached to the hull. Some of these marine organisms are suspected to be non-native species. Samples were sent to the Oregon State University for identification.
The boat was first spotted the boat Thursday morning by a volunteer with a marine debris monitoring team organized by the Surfrider Foundation. There is Japanese writing on the vessel, but its exact origin and date it was lost haven’t been determined.
Japanese Tsunami Dock piece Celebration and Dedication Sunday, 10am, Hatfield Marine Science Center
From Hatfield Marine Science Center
A new exhibit featuring a portion of a dock that washed ashore near Newport more than a year after the devastating March 2011 Tohoku, Japan, earthquake and tsunami will open on Sunday, March 10, at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.
The unveiling of the tsunami awareness exhibit will begin at 2 p.m. at the center, located at 2030 Marine Science Drive in Newport, just southeast of the Highway 101 bridge. It is free and open to the public.
The opening and dedication takes place two years after a massive earthquake rattled northern Japan, triggering a tsunami that killed thousands of people. The tsunami also inundated Japan’s coastline and ripped loose at least three massive docks from the city of Misawa, one of which floated across the Pacific Ocean and washed ashore just north of Newport near Agate Beach in early June of 2012.
A slice of the dock was cut away and preserved, and will serve as an educational exhibit and memorial to the events that brought it to Oregon.
“The exhibit will be a vivid reminder that a similar earthquake and tsunami could just as easily happen here in the Pacific Northwest,” said Janet Webster, interim director of OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. “The exhibit also will highlight the risk from invasive species, and detail the journey of the dock from Misawa to Newport.”
Webster said the dock has been of great interest to the public and to scientists since it arrived at Agate Beach. It drew thousands of visitors to the coast before it was cut into pieces and trucked away. The dock also captured the attention of biologists who rushed to examine the dozens of living organisms attached to the structure.
Television crews from Japan have visited the OSU center several times to follow up on the story, and the arrival of other tsunami debris up and down the coast brings another wave of attention.
Shawn Rowe, an OSU free-choice learning specialist based at Hatfield, said the exhibit provides a good opportunity to broaden public awareness about earthquakes, tsunamis, invasive species, and preparedness. It resonates with the public, he noted, because it had not occurred in recorded history.
“It was a unique confluence of circumstances that led to the dock arriving in Newport,” Rowe pointed out. “While fishing floats, logs and debris arrive on the West Coast from Asia with some regularity, rarely does a structure this large that had been anchored for years in an inlet in Japan – and thus accumulating local seaweeds and organisms – rip loose and journey across the ocean.”
The Hatfield Marine Science Center recently installed a tsunami interpretive trail beginning at the center, which highlights an evacuation route to higher ground for employees, residents and visitors to Newport’s South Beach peninsula.
A delegation from Japan, including agency, university and NGO representatives, is visiting Oregon this week and SOLVE is leading a beach cleanup this Friday for their visit. About 100 volunteers are expected, half of those will be 4th graders, and we need assistance with event logistics (registration check-in, safety talks, supervising volunteers, etc.). Volunteer leaders should meet Briana at Chinook Winds Casino Resort by 8:30 am. There will be signs guiding you to the registration area. If you are interested in helping, please contact Briana at 503-844-9571 ext. 317 or email at Briana@Solv.org
Boat suspected to be Japan tsunami debris washed up on Gleneden beach on Feb. 5, 2013. ODFW photo.
Justin Ainsworth, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, inspecting boat afternoon of Feb. 5, 2013 ODFW photo
Boat flipped and moved by high tide ODFW photo
Fuel handling warning label written in Japanese ODFW photo
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologists Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth inspected the site and collected species samples before the boat was taken to a landfill. Feb. 6, 2013 ODFW photo
The estimated one-ton boat was removed by Drayton Excavation under the direction of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Feb. 6, 2013. ODFW photo
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologists found several different types of non-native species attached to the boat. Samples have been taken for taxonomic identification by OSU biologists Jessica Miller and John Chapman. ODFW photo
The majority of organisms attached to the boat were Pelagic Gooseneck barnacles, which are an open water species endemic to Oregon coastal waters ODFW photo
From Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildife
Marine debris at Gleneden Beach removed
Gleneden OR — A derelict 27′ boat that washed ashore near Gleneden Beach Feb. 5 was safely removed from ocean shore 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6. The craft was removed by Drayton Excavation and taken to a local landfill. Biologists Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and a team of scientists from Oregon State University — Jessica Miller, John Chapman, and Gayle Hansen — inspected the debris. They noted several specimens, such as the non-native Japanese acorn barnacle (Megabalanus rosa) were attached. Scientists at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center are evaluating the samples. It will be a month or more before other organisms on the boat are positively identified.
While debris bearing marine organisms has crossed the Pacific Ocean before, tsunami-related debris seen so far is different from the usual flotsam. Large groups of living organisms, transported on objects that provide some shelter from the elements, introduce a more significant challenge than the usual smaller volume of debris common on the west coast. Public reports and photos of beach debris sent to email@example.com are shared between state park and wildlife officials and help them decide which pieces of debris require further investigation.
While the boat resembles debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the exact origin of this object has not been determined.
Thirty foot Japanese fishing craft – Salishan Beach Contains open ocean and some Japanese marine life ODFW photo
A much monitored 20 foot fishing craft, smothered with marine growth has finally made land-fall on the Salishan Spit north of Gleneden Beach.
The Coast Guard had been tracking its movements for the last few days, last reporting it was moving north from a point two miles off Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
Scientists have determined it is tsunami debris from the big shaker and tsunami in March of 2011.
More in this news release from Oregon Fish and Wildlife:
Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 2:30 p.m., two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife biologists, Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth, inspected a boat that washed up Gleneden Beach earlier today. The boat is oriented hull up, and it is embedded in the sand with most of the hull exposed. The vessel is 30 feet long and the hull is an unusual design and appears to be a specialty design for some type of commercial fishing or aquaculture activity. The fiberglass hull is predominantly white with patches of blue bottom paint. The side of the vessel contains a 4″X12″ “YAMAHA” sticker, and the bow section contains some red painted characters.
They inspected the marine organisms attached to the overturned hull. The hull is covered in large numbers of pelagic (gooseneck) barnacles which colonized the surfaces while the vessel was adrift in the open ocean. The hull is colonized by extensive patches of brown algae (species unknown, but not Wakame) and colonies of hydrozoans (species unknown). The hull is also colonized by large numbers of blue mussels, but species not confirmed. One individual of the Japanese acorn barnacle was seen.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff was on site and is in the process of developing a plan for removal of the vessel.
Summary: The overturned boat appears to be Japan tsunami marine debris that does not pose a risk for HazMats and that poses very little risk associated with invasive species.