Crews sent out today to assist with tsunami debris

The Washington Department of Ecology is deploying crews from the Washington Conservation Corps to help with the increase of marine debris along the coast.

NOAA says that the 20-foot boat that washed up at Cape Disappointment State Park was from Japan and swept out to sea by the 2011 tsunami.

There has been an increase in items reported on Washington’s shores such as Styrofoam, plastic bottles and household appliances that also may be part of the estimated 1.5 million tons of tsunami debris deposited in the Pacific Ocean.

Ecology is deploying three six-person crews starting today on the North Beach from Moclips to Ocean Shores, on the South Beach from Westport to Wash-Away Beach, and on the Long Beach Peninsula.

Ecology has committed the crews for four days to assess the extent of the debris. WCC’s AmeriCorps members and staff will work with volunteers and staff from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to remove debris.

WCC members and staff have attended various trainings, including wild land firefighting, search and rescue, and flood and hazardous material response.

Young adults who complete a year of WCC service earn state minimum wage for hourly work as well as a $5,550 AmeriCorps Education Award that they can use for repaying student loans or toward future tuition expenses.

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