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NOAA officials to discuss tsunami marine debris

By Staff | May 24, 2012

LAHAINA – Carey Morishige and Ruth Yender from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program will give a special lecture presentation on tsunami marine debris in Kihei and Lahaina.

As the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 receded from land, it washed much of what was in the inundation zone into the ocean.

Heavier materials sank closer to shore, while buoyant materials went on to make up the debris fields seen in satellite imagery and aerial photos of the waters surrounding Japan. Months later, debris fields are no longer visible.

Winds and ocean currents scattered items in the massive North Pacific Ocean, and scientists predict some of the debris will reach U.S. coasts.

Morishige and Yender will provide a lecture on efforts to collect data, assess the debris and possible impacts based on sound science, and protect our natural resources and coasts.

The talks are slated for Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary Visitor Center at 726 S. Kihei Road and Saturday, June 2, at 6 p.m. at Princess Nahi’ena’ena School at 816 Niheu St. in Lahaina.