8 Nov 2011

US agencies to track Japan's tsunami debris across the Pacific

4:41 pm on 8 November 2011

The United States Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies are teaming up to document and track marine debris generated by the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.

The EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will issue a monthly bulletin to keep key stakeholders informed about tsunami debris activities.

A workshop in Honolulu in June, which was part of the regular Oceania Regional Response Team meeting, explored options for a coordinated response to the tsunami debris.

The Response Team, comprising federal, state and U.S. Territory agencies, has an area of responsibility that includes Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

University of Hawaii scientists have developed computer models that predict debris from the tsunami could potentially reach Hawaii by March 2012 and the U.S. West Coast by March the following year.