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  • Shortly before the 1-year anniversary of the Tsunami in Japan, I began seeing

    large amounts of foam in big chunks and unmarked plastic bottles rubbed clean.

    There were ropes and lines in every color, tiny pieces of chipped wood and

    Plastic. Children’s toys, shoes in every size and large pieces of broken docks

    would land on shore. I contacted NOAA and let them know about the unusual

    debris and included photos with my note. They replied and asked if they

    could use my photos as examples and I agreed. The following day I found a torn

    piece of buoy marked in Japanese.

    I have been walking the beaches of this island for years and have never seen

    anything like this. Yes, we have always had driftwood but this is so different.

    Some of the large logs have nicks and chips in them as if they went through a

    garbage disposal. The unusual debris seems to trickle in plumes. It has no

    rhyme or reason.

    Today, my dog found line in a big wad mangled under driftwood. She proudly

    delivered it to me, as you can see in this picture. She has been helping me all

    along and seems to understand that we are cleaning things up. If something

    seems out of place she will bring it to me. Her favorite thing to find is bamboo.

    It’s a game for her. I carry a plastic bag every day on our walks and fill it with

    things that may tangle and injure a bird or fish. It gets heavy at times and my

    husband and I have to pay to throw it away on our dime.

    I have been cleaning this state park with the blessing of all but one resident as I

    walk my dog off leash. The local residents wave at me as I walk by with my

    camera on a single pod stand. I’m hoping that the part time resident doesn’t

    make it impossible for me to continue our routine. I can tell it gives my dog a

    purpose, she loves the exercise. She’s a hunter of debris, she’s not chasing

    deer. She is working.

    The chips of wood are becoming larger and so are the pieces of plastic found on

    the beach. In todays bag I carried a ripped window shutter to my car because it

    seemed so out of place on the beach. It was made of a beautiful quality wood

    and a rusted hinge was still attached. I also found a black converse tennis shoe.

    The size was worn away from being in the water too long. It looked like it may

    have had a silver star that had lost its sheen. It makes my heart heavy. I know

    that it’s hard to determine whether or not it really is Tsunami debris without clear

    markings but who lost this shoe? Did he make it to shore? Who lost this

    window so violently? It only keeps coming and some days my load gets heavier.

    Photo by Audrey B
    Taken 13 Sept 2013 at a Washington State Park
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