Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, April 1, 2011

Japanese Tsunami Debris: Will It Trash Our Beaches?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 5:45 PM

click to enlarge How many volunteers will this cleanup take?
  • How many volunteers will this cleanup take?

There are so many alarming side effects to the Japanese nuclear leak -- tainted rainwater, polluted air samples, and let's not forget the possibility of radiation in your milk.

But while we are so preoccupied with these immediate hazards, we have yet to think about the long-term problems: trashed beaches.

That's right: Scientists are saying that the wind and ocean currents are already pushing loads of crap from Japan where an 8.9 earthquake hit earlier this month, followed by a devastating tsunami where some 10,000 people were killed.

KTVU reports today that anyone living on the West Coast can expect the floating pollution to make its way here within the next year, or maybe three.

How quickly tsunami-related junk will wash ashore depends largely on the material, its buoyancy, and other

factors. Perhaps only a small portion of the garbage will land on the beaches.

But even then, it, too could be radioactive, scientists say.

We have so many questions. So we called UC Santa Cruz ocean experts to talk to us about what we might expect, and what people can do to help. We will update you when we get more information.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"