Home > Harbor News > Dock Remains Along Washington Coast

Dock Remains Along Washington Coast

December 28, 2012

The dock suspected to have been set adrift by the Japanese tsunami remains beached on a remote and rugged section of the Olympic National Park coastline, state officials said today.

State responders are developing a plan for dealing with the dock, but no plan can be enacted until January due to tides and daylight access.

Meanwhile, as a precaution, a tracking buoy is attached to the dock. The buoy transmits its location twice daily via satellite. The location coordinates have not changed, showing that the dock has not moved since visited by a response team last week.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is working with marine invasive species experts from Williams College in Connecticut, Oregon State University, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History to analyze samples they helped collect from the dock and to assess the risk they might pose to native Washington species. Nearly 30 species have been identified so far.

Allen Pleus, WDFW’s aquatic invasive species coordinator, said this evidence shows that Japanese coastal organisms continue to survive on marine debris, even after 20 months at sea. Pleus said most of the species on the Washington dock were present on a similar dock that came ashore on Agate Beach, Ore. in June, but none of the highly invasive species found on the Oregon structure were present on the Washington dock.

More detailed analysis is ongoing and may require several months, Pleus said.

Responders also took samples to test for radioactivity. State Department of Health experts say it’s unlikely that radioactive contamination will be detected.

The dock has not been officially confirmed as tsunami debris. Crews located Japanese writing in one of the holds and shared photos with the Japanese consulate and are waiting for confirmation from the government of Japan on whether the dock is tsunami debris.

Pending further information about the risks associated with the dock, the section of the park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove remains closed to all public entry.

Dock 2

Categories: Harbor News
%d bloggers like this: