The 1-855-WACOAST state hotline set up for reporting marine debris will be taken off-line December 31.
The hotline was set up by the state’s Marine Debris Task Force. The task force created the Washington State Marine Debris Response Plan and a process to respond to large or hazardous marine debris items as well as any sizeable increases in small, nonhazardous debris.
Terry Egan, the state’s Task Force lead, said: “We have not had a major marine debris incident in almost a year, and the overall amount of debris we saw on our beaches in 2013 also decreased. The hotline hasn’t been getting calls, so it makes sense to suspend it. The state’s response plan was set up to conserve resources when it makes sense to do so, and that’s what we are doing here.”
People will still be able to report hazardous marine debris – such as gas cans, cylinders and oil drums – 24 hours a day to 1-800-OILS-911.
Residents are urged to continue reporting nonhazardous marine debris that’s suspected to be from the tragic 2011 Japan tsunami via email to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov. NOAA requests people include photographs and any identifying information, when possible, as well as the specific location of the debris.”
The Task Force will remain intact in 2014.