Tsunami Debris Dock Gets Scrubdown, Attracts Onlookers

Jun 8, 2012

A giant piece of Japanese tsunami debris on the Oregon coast is now scraped free of what marine biologists worried were invasive species. The floating dock landed on the beach near Newport this week. Park rangers and volunteers worked quickly [today] Thursday to remove seaweed, mussels and barnacles, some of which are found only in Japanese waters. Meanwhile, the massive hulk has attracted hundreds of onlookers. Correspondent Tom Banse spoke with O.J Cortez of Reedsport.

Cortez: “Look at the attraction that it has here in Newport. Promote our tourism.”

Banse: “And if you were in charge, would you figure out how to get rid of it?

Cortez: I would treated like a large blue or grey whale that’s washed up on shore and it’s dead. I think you just kind of leave it.

Chris Havel of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department says the current preferred option is to tow the dock to the nearby Port of Newport. Another possibility is to chop it up on scene. He says the Japanese have sent word that they don’t want this piece of tsunami debris back.  

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network