OCEAN SHORES, Wash. -- Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire says federal help is needed to help clean up tsunami debris that reaches the West Coast.
Speaking during a news conference at Ocean Shores Monday, Gregoire said the state was making money available for marine debris cleanup, but the federal government needs to help, too.
We don't have the resources at the state level to do what we're going to have to do here.
A 20-foot boat washed up on Benson Beach at Cape Disappointment State Park last week. It's festooned with hundreds of what state Fish and Wildlife officials told Hart are gooseneck barnacles, typical of time in the open ocean.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been working with the Japanese consulate in Seattle to determine its exact origin, but experts said it's likely from the tsunami. The boat had Asian-style writing on it, as did a lifejacket found inside, according to officials with the State Department of Ecology.
Gregoire also announced a Clean Shoreline Initiative to be led by Washington National Guard commander Timothy Lowenberg. It would include the state Health Department and other agencies.
The governor says there's no reason to fear seafood or visiting coastal beaches.
Scientists are telling us that the tsunami debris was well offshore before there was a release of any radiation from the Japanese nuclear power plants. Nevertheless, we will continue to check debris to make absolutely sure it poses no public health hazard, Gregoire said.
Health Secretary Mary Selecky says monitoring has found no radiation in salmon. The state also is monitoring for invasive species, but Gregoire says she's not aware of any arriving on tsunami debris.
In Oregon, an entire dock that washed up at Agate Beach in early June was tied to the Japan tsunami. Experts said that removal of just that one piece of debris could cost around $240,000.
More recently, a 4x5-foot sealed box that could be from Japan was found on the beach in Pacific City Sunday night. Witnesses said clear plastic bottles attached to the box had Japanese-type writing. The box washed up south of the Pelican Pub toward the mouth of the Nestucca, according to a posting on the Tillamook Headlight Herald's Facebook page.