Japan’s tsunami is still making its presence felt long after it has gone away. The disaster that befell Japan in 2011 washed unknown quantities of debris away from Japan and that debris is starting to show up on America’s left coast. Items from soccer balls to entire floating docks have been found up and down the coastline. NOAA has even setup an email address expressly for the purposes of reporting floating Japanese debris.
Now the Japanese government has gifted $5 million to NOAA to help aid in the cleanup as it happens here:
We are extremely grateful to Japan for its generous support to the American people. The tragedy set in motion by the earthquake and tsunami continues to be tangible, but it brought our nations together. This gift is a powerful reminder of the goodwill, friendship and spirit of mutual support between our people. We appreciate this partnership and collaboration with Japan as we work to keep our ocean and coasts healthy.
NOAA has set up an entire subsite to dealing with debris from Japan, which is expected to continue washing ashore for a few years. Radiation experts say that there is no reason to avoid beaches, as debris is unlikely to be radioactive and in any event, will only wash ashore in small, unmassed quantities at any one time.