Workers today began a massive cleanup of 40 tons of debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan that washed up on Montague Island in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The largest uninhabited island in the United States has been inundated with everything from buoys to fuel jugs. The project is expected to last two weeks and is the first large project to collect and dispose tsunami debris.

Japanese officials have estimated that approximately five million tons of debris has been swept out into the Pacific Ocean since March 2011. Most of it sank, but 1.5 million tons are still floating across the ocean and has ended up in the Pacific Garbage Patch and as far south as Mexico. Government agencies including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and local non profits, including Gulf of Alaska Keeper (GoAK) and Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS), are concerned about both the invasive species and toxic materials that could wreak havoc with the Alaskan coast’s scenery and wildlife. GoAK and CACS have been tackling the problems of ocean debris for years. Meanwhile Alaska Senator Mark Begich is requesting $45 million for the cleanup efforts.

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alaska, tsunami, tsunami in japan, japan tsunami, Montague Island, NOAA, gulf of alaska keeper, center for alaskan coastal studies, CACS, GoAK

Photo courtesy CASC

Photos courtesy Wikipedia, CACS.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.