Washington beaches still awash with ugly tsunami debris
Pacific Beach State Park, WA – Tsunami debris, the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that shook Japan over two years ago, continues to wash onto Washington beaches. More than 200,000 buildings were washed out to sea by the enormous waves that followed the magnitude 9.0 earthquake on March 11, 2011. Cars, boats, lumber, plastic buoys and even whole houses have made their way to Washington beaches ever since.
Longtime beachcomber Daryle Rico is trying to take it all in stride. “I can deal with the cars and body parts I find along the shore,” says Rico. “To me, the biggest eyesore is that ugly Costa Rican I see strolling on the beach.”
Scientists state that once the debris field reaches the U.S. West coast, it will turn clock-wise toward Hawaii and back again toward Asia, circulating in what is known as the North Pacific Gyre. The gyre is the largest ecosystem on Earth and is the site of an unusually large collection of man-made debris, and is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Thousands of Washingtonians have volunteered their time to clear the beach of most of the garbage that has sailed across the Pacific, but scientists predict more debris is in store.
According to a spokesperson from the Washington CoastSavers, “We can handle most of the trash that is arriving from Japan, but there is not much we can do about those smarmy Costa Ricans.”