From an Albany Landfill Dog Owners Group press release:
On any given day, you can tell where the high-water mark has been at Albany Beach from the line of bottle caps, shotgun pellet casings, and other micro-plastic on the sand. This year, there may be more debris because the wreckage from the Japan tsunami of 2011 is now hitting the West Coast.
Albany Landfill Dog Owners Group, in cooperation with East Bay Regional Park District, is sponsoring an Albany Beach Cleanup on Sunday, March 24, from 1-3 pm, in the first data collection effort of tsunami debris in Alameda County.
This cleanup of regular marine trash and possibly tsunami debris will contribute to the statewide Tsunami Debris Data Collection Project run by the California State Coastal Commission. Cleanup volunteers will tally what is collected and information will be entered into the commission's project database. Other data-collection sites in the San Francisco Bay Area include Ocean, Mussel Rock and Linda Mar beaches.
Clean-up training is provided by the EBRPD.
Two years ago this month, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan and created a tsunami, resulting in 5 million tons of debris being washed out to sea. About 1.5 million tons was buoyant enough to enter the Pacific Ocean currents, according to the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.
Original projections called for the debris to arrive this March, but some confirmed debris has already arrived on the West Coast, such as a soccer ball that belonged to a 16-year-old, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in British Columbia, portions of a port dock along the shores of the Olympic National Park in Washington.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has created a modeledtracker of the debris and researchers at the University of Victoria have developed an app called Coastbuster so people can use their smartphones to snap photos of suspected wreckage.
The California Coastal Commission has prepared a FAQ for commonly asked questions.
Albany Beach clean-up organizers do not expect to find any dramatic debris on clean-up day. Most of the wreckage has been broken down and what people may notice is an increase in trash, adding to the marine debris that washes up every day. Researchers hope the data collection will provide a big picture of tsunami wreckage along the West Coast.
Albany Beach is located at the end of Buchanan Street, near the Golden Gate Fields race track.
A visitor to Albany Beach videotaped the Japan tsunami arriving at Albany Beach the day after the earthquake. (The YouTube video is shown above.)