Tsunami Debris and Coastal Cleanup Efforts

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco issued the following statement on Aug. 30.

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1. Volunteer Beach Cleanups in California

On the West Coast of North America, there has been growing interest in coastal cleanups run by each organization. In California, these events are run by the California Coastal Commission, which asked for the consulate’s assistance in promoting the event to encourage volunteers’ participation.

Participants in last year's cleanup at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. (Photo by Alison Taggart Baron/NPS)

California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, Sept.15, will take place in every area of the state — on rivers and lakes as well as the coast. Last year, with the help of 82,500 volunteers, the annual cleanup effort was able to collect over 544 tons of waste and debris. Some Japanese communities in California consider joining the volunteer efforts, and this year consulate staff also plan to join the event. The consul staff will register mainly at Ocean Beach/Fulton — all are welcome if you would like to join us.

Those who have an interest in helping to beautify California’s coasts and waterways should click the following link and register as a volunteer.

http://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html

The Ocean Beach/Fulton venue, one of the cleanup locations:

Saturday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Ocean Beach at Fulton, San Francisco, CA 94121

2. Tsunami Debris Response Efforts

Some tsunami debris items from the March 11 earthquake have already been discovered on the West Coast of North America and may continue to arrive intermittently over the next few years. Japan, the U.S. and Canada have been cooperating on the tsunami debris issue … and Japanese consulates general along the West Coast, including California and Hawaii, have been sharing information with relevant federal, state and provincial government agencies since last year.

3. Coastal Cleanup Activities

Ongoing media attention on tsunami debris washed out by the Great East Japan Earthquake has helped to raise public awareness of the much larger and continuing issue of general marine drifting debris, which circulates in oceans and washes up on shorelines around the world all the time. As a result, there has been renewed interest in coastal cleanup activities by volunteers and various organizations on the West Coast of North America and in Hawaii.

For more information, please contact Vice Consul Kurashina (415-777-3533, ext. 411, [email protected]) or Assistant Thompson (415-777-3533, ext. 431, [email protected]) at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. Additionally, please take a look at our website: http://www.sf.us.emb-japan.go.jp/en/e_m55_01.htm.

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