The South Sound Estuary Association in Olympia is kicking off its 2012-2013 Discovery speakers series Oct. 4.
Nir Barnea, West Coast regional coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, will give a presentation “Marine Debris and Puget Sound – Will Tsunami Debris Get to South Puget Sound?”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program supports national and international efforts to research, prevent and reduce the impacts of marine debris, according to the program’s website.
The program coordinates and supports debris-related activities within NOAA and with other federal agencies. It also works with partners to support projects carried out by state and local agencies, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, educators and industry.
“Over the past couple months, debris from the March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan has started to wash ashore on the West Coast,” Barnea wrote on the program’s blog. “Items such as a fishing boat, an intact Harley Davidson motorcycle, a soccer ball and a 66-foot dock have been identified and confirmed as tsunami-related debris. These items were traced back to the devastating event, and in the case of the soccer ball, the owner, 16 year-old Misaki Murakami, was reunited with his personal memento given to him by his third-grade classmates.
“The challenge with all marine debris, including debris from the tsunami, is that it is difficult to trace it back to its origin with certainty. And marine debris, regardless of the source, poses environmental and safety risks and can impact commerce and recreation,” she concluded.
ABOUT THE SERIES
You can learn about the Marine Debris Program at marinedebris.noaa.gov/ welcome.html.
Other programs in the series are:
Nov. 1: “Ocean Acidification and Fish: It’s not All about the Clams” by Scott Steltzner, fisheries biologist for the Squaxin Island Tribe.
Dec. 6: Estuary restoration. The speaker has not been announced.
Jan. 3: “Giant Pacific Octopus” by Kathryn Kegel, aquarium biologist at the Seattle Aquarium.
Feb. 7: Shellfish biology. The speaker has not been announced.
All events, which are free, will be held at LOTT Water Education Science Education Center, 500 NE Adams St., Olympia. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation running from 7-9 p.m.
The series also is sponsored by The Russell Family Foundation and The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound.