Dock from Japan tsunami washes ashore in Oregon

Dock from Japan tsunami washes ashore in Oregon

first_imgWhen the tsunami hit the northern coast of Japan last year, the waves ripped four dock floats the size of freight train boxcars from their pilings in the fishing port of Misawa and turned them over to the whims of wind and currents.One floated up on a nearby island. Two have not been seen again. But one made an incredible journey across 5,000 miles of ocean that ended this week on a popular Oregon beach.Along for the ride were hundreds of millions of individual organisms, including a tiny species of crab, a species of algae, and a little starfish all native to Japan that have scientists concerned if they get a chance to spread out on the West Coast.“This is a very clear threat,” said John Chapman, a research scientist at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Ore., where the dock washed up early Tuesday. “It’s incredibly difficult to predict what will happen next.”State officials were considering plans to scrape all the living organisms off the dock and bury them in the sand, so they would not spread, Chapman said.last_img

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