Friday, January 4, 2013

Our Pacific Northwest: The Floating Remains of a Calamity

Our Pacific Northwest

The Floating Remains of a Calamity

The Seattle Times reported earlier this week that Washington scientists from the state’s ecological department will examine a dock that landed on the shores of Olympic National Park on the state’s northwestern tip. Why so much attention to a perceived useless floating piece of dock? According to the Times report, it is believed the debris is highly likely to have originated from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011. Scientists point to evidence of the debris’ uncanny characteristics to one that floated on the Oregon shore near Newport, which has been confirmed to have broken lose from a fishing port in Japan. Representatives from the Park Service and Fish and Wildlife will be assigned the task of removing any of the 30 species identified on the dock considered to be invasive to the national park. The assessment of the dock could not only give state scientists insight, but also serve as a reminder of one of the greatest natural disasters in human history, traveling 32 months and roughly 5,000 miles to reach the shores of the Pacific Northwest.

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