Japan Tsunami Marine Debris removal
Mission: Develop and promote stewardship, restoration and maintenance projects for trails.
Dates: July 2013-September 2014
Summary: In response to the large quantity of marine debris that arrived in Alaska in 2012 as a result of the Japanese Tsunami in Tohoku, Japan, on 11 March 2011, ITN received funding in the form of a legislative appropriation from the State of Alaska Department of Community & Economic Development to conduct a large-scale marine clean up and removal in the areas of the Kodiak Archipelago. The northeastern shore of Afognak Island was one of the areas of the Archipelago that had received the largest amount of debris, and was identified as the area with one of highest priorities for clean up.
Over two summers from 2013-2014 over 40 ITN staff and contractors conducted a point-A to point-B marine debris clean up along 70 miles of the NE Coast of Afognak and the E coast of Shuyak island. To conduct the project, a clean up team of 15 used an 80’ mother ship and two skiffs continuously searching the shoreline, landing wherever possible to remove debris. Marine debris was found at all locations sampled. In 2013 a total of 80,000 lbs. of debris was removed and delivered to Kodiak. An additional 35,000 lbs of debris were recovered from Shuyak island and Perenosa Bay of Afognak island. More than 50% of the debris was discarded or fishing gear, nets, line, floats & buoys, but foam, plastic bottles and other items were represented and a significant portion of the debris is believed to have originated from the 2011 Tohoku tsunami in Japan.