The U.S. is bracing for tsunami debris, but not really doing anything about it.
We don't have a cohesive plan for cleaning up the rubble that floats to American shores.
And get this: the Japanese government estimates that 1.5 million tons of debris is floating in the ocean from the catastrophe.
There are two trains of thought here. One is optimistic, and thinks that most of that won't reach us. The other is that it'll be a slow and inevitable environmental disaster.
"I think this is far worse than any oil spill that we've ever faced on the West Coast or any other environmental disaster we've faced on the West Coast."
The major issue is that because of how slow it's happening, nobody is really doing anything. Funding isn't being allocated.
If it happened all at once, you bet your asses we'd be declaring an emergency!
So what's been showing up? Just some trash?
'One astonishing example of how the unexpected can suddenly appear occurred Wednesday in Oregon when a concrete and metal dock that measured 66 feet long, seven feet tall and 19 feet wide, washed ashore a mile north of Newport. A Japanese consulate official in Portland confirmed that the dock came from the northern Japanese city of Misawa, cut loose in the tsunami of March 11, 2011.'
One researcher says:
"You have entire homes and all their contents … anything you may find in a Japanese home could be floating in the ocean still intact."
Which means we better figure out soon how to deal with it. Not to mention the more sensitive things — like human remains and personal items.
As soon as September, that is, because some are projecting that a lot of it could show up as early as October.
[Image via AP Images.]