JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – Scientists say more than 10 times the usual amount of debris has washed ashore in North America since a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck seven years ago off the coast of Japan, triggering a tsunami with waves up to 30 feet high.
Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday that scientists spent four years monitoring the tsunami’s aftermath and found that nearly 100,000 items washed ashore from Alaska to Oregon.
Marine ecologist Cathryn Murray says the debris has complicated communities’ efforts to stifle shoreline trash. Murray also said she worries that sea creatures from Japan have managed to cross the ocean with the trash.
She said species have always had the ability to raft on natural items, but non-degradable plastics in the ocean have made the phenomenon more likely.
Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org
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