Tsunami Cleanups

Possible Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Discovered Off Pacifica 
@ Mussel Rock in August 2014

  Living pelagic barnacles, or biofouling material attached to the vessel        Japanese identification on the skiff

Personnel from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), assigned as the lead to investigate the finding, performed an inspection and collected specimens including oysters, barnacles and mussels from the vessel. Its Yamaha Motor Co. tag was very helpful in tracking down similar vessels which have washed up in Oregon in 2014.  For more info on those vessels, visit http://www.oregonbeachcomber.com/


In 2013, Pacifica Beach Coalition was invited by the
California Coastal Commission (CCC) to lead Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Cleanups along the San Mateo County coastline.  
Throughout the year, more than 575 volunteers conducted eight CCC-sponsored clean ups at two sites; Linda Mar State Beach and Mussel Rock, Daly City’s protected coastal area that provides trapping mechanism for assessing supplemental counts of comparative debris with its large rocky boulders that protect its ocean shoreline. An additional four cleanups were conducted at Mussel Rock. 

Led by PBC volunteers Helen Nicely, Jim and Ana Fifthian, Tom Whittaker and Debbie
Kane, the crew included Pacifica residents Liz Murtagh and Tim Sutton, 4‐H Club, Boy Scout Troop 74, Genentech employees and Good Shepherd School.  Their total collection amounted to 1,749 lbs of trash and 194 lbs of recycles.  While Linda Mar did not report any tsunami debris findings, the Mussel Rock crew discovered possible tsunami debris including a large Styrofoam-type float, lumber that could have been part of a dock, and a bait trap with Japanese inscription.  All reports on the findings followed a protocol to the CCC and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. 

The PBC extends our gratitude to the CCC, participants and their dedication to the cleanups. 

2013 Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Clean Up Program

Participation Open to the Public.  Registration requested – please complete the form below (you can sign up for more than one cleanup) 

This year, according to National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), significant amounts of Japanese tsunami marine debris generated by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake in March 2011 have been travelling the Pacific Ocean on currents.  Debris is expected to arrive on Pacifica and Daly City beaches. An estimated 1.5 million tons of debris is en route to the California coastline, with particular density expected to reach land on the Northern California coastline within the next two years.

Throughout the year, volunteers are invited to join trained Pacifica Beach Coalition site captains during organized cleanups to search for and document debris that may have originated from the tsunami. Register below. 

Cleanup dates and locations:

February 16, 9am -11am - Pacifica State Beach (at Linda Mar)

February 23, 9am -11am - Mussel Rock Park Car Park (next to Allied Waste Transfer Station) 

April 20, 9am -11am - Pacifica State Beach (at Linda Mar)

April 20, 9am -11am - Mussel Rock Park Car Park (next to Allied Waste Transfer Station) 

June 15, 9am -11am -  Pacifica State Beach (at Linda Mar)

June 22, 9am -11am -  Mussel Rock Park Car Park (next to Allied Waste Transfer Station) 

September 21, 9am -11am - Pacifica State Beach (at Linda Mar)

September 21, 9am -11am -  Mussel Rock Park Car Park (next to Allied Waste Transfer Station) 

You may also register directly at the sites. Please bring your own reusable gloves, grab sticks and buckets if you can, but we will have some to offer, if necessary.

For more on the Tsunami Debris Cleanup Program: http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/jtmd/jtmd.html.     Read more FAQs and What You Should Do if debris is found: Tsunami Debris on California’s North Coast

Note: The debris is NOT expected to be radioactive because the nuclear power station meltdown occurred several days after the debris was generated and had already floated away from Japan on ocean currents. If the public finds debris that appears to have come from Japan, before disposing of any item, they should send photos with details of the location to disasterdebris@noaa.gov. At our clean ups, this will be facilitated by reporting findings to site captains, who will log the findings and photos with the California Coastal Commission and NOAA. 

Made possible by the California Coastal Commission  (official supporter), and the following major statewide sponsors: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), California Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Clif Bar, Crystal Geyser, Oracle Corporation and Whole Foods. 

JTMD Cleanup Volunteer Registration Form


28days until
California Coastal Cleanup Day


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