Cantwell to Call for Federal Program to Address Tsunami Debris

SEATTLE, Wash. – At 10:30 this morning, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Mark Begich (D-AK) will call for a clear federal action plan to address the tsunami debris off the Pacific Coast, following the discovery last week of a tsunami-swept Japanese fishing vessel off the coast of Canada.

There is currently no plan in place to address a large-scale marine debris event such as the approaching tsunami trash. Tomorrow, Cantwell and Begich will highlight efforts to address the threat approaching tsunami debris poses to economies up and down Washington and Alaska’s coastlines.

Last November, Cantwell and Begich supported key committee passage of an amendment that would identify the debris as a unique threat and require the Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to develop an interagency action plan to help prepare the West Coast for this potentially serious problem.

Washington state’s coastal economy supports 165,000 jobs and produces $10.8 billion in economic activity each year.