Tsunami Debris Monitoring Project


Japan Tsunami

Marine Debris Monitoring


 Tsunami debris in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: United States Navy


Many thanks to all volunteers who participated in the Japan Tsunami Debris Monitoring Program!  After a few years of quarterly monitoring, this program ended in mid-2016. Please notify us at 707-822-6918 if you find anything you suspect might be debris from the 2011 Japan tsunami.



Since 2013, in collaboration with the California Coastal Commission and the help of our dedicated volunteers, the NEC has regularly monitored Samoa Beach in Humboldt and Point St. George in Del Norte for any possible debris that may have originated from the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011.

While scientists predicted that the bulk of the estimated one-and-a-half million tons of tsunami debris adrift at sea will continue to hit Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, residents should be on the lookout for possible tsunami debris on California's North Coast. Sightings should be reported to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.

In spring and summer of 2014, a “pulse” of Japanese skiffs washed ashore along the West Coast, including at Humboldt’s Dry Lagoon.

In 2013, a Japanese skiff washed ashore in Crescent City and was eventually returned home, thanks to the efforts of local students.



The following organizations also offer a wealth of information relating to tsunami debris on their websites.

Ocean Conservancy
California Coastal Commission
HSU's Marine Debris Project

California's Thank You Ocean Campaign








Click the image to download the Ocean Conservancy's Tsunami Debris Field Guide (655KB, png file)