What You Need to Know About Tsunami Debris

Heal the Bay staff has been fielding questions lately from people who are concerned about debris from last year’s devastating tsunami in Japan. Will it was ashore here? Is it radioactive? The bottom line is that scientists believe that most of the debris from the tsunami has already sunk in the Pacific. What disaster-related debris may wash ashore in Southern California in the coming months and years will be widely dispersed. Most important, it’s unlikely to contain radiation.

Because of the high level of marine debris already in the ocean, it’s nearly impossible to determine if a particular item found on the beach did indeed come from the disaster zone in Japan. If you do find something unusual on the shoreline, we encourage you to take a picture of it and contact us. If it looks potentially dangerous, please don’t pick it up.

We’ve assembled an FAQ with more information. And remember that marine debris is a 365-day-a-year problem. If you want to help. please volunteer for one of our regular cleanups.