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  • It began in March of 2012. Plastic bottles and containers began to accumulate on the shore of our state park beach. My dog loves to run on this beach with her latest find. I first noticed large amounts of unmarked bottles and containers in every size and color; all had been rubbed clean of labels. My dog would proudly deliver plastic containers and unwoven boat lines to me. At times it would become a “catch me if you can” moment. We began collecting what I thought was trash on our daily routine. Then colorful plastic netting and pieces of boat line landed on shore. This could get tangled around a wild animal or fish.

    I got angry at first; I thought people are so thoughtless and inconsiderate by just tossing their trash overboard their boat. It became habit to carry a large plastic bag on our excursions. At times the weight of the bag's strap would leave marks on the palms and my hands. Sometimes my hands would go numb after an hour's walk back to my car. It could be a tiring load to carry and at times the bag would begin to tear.
  • A trickle of children's toys and shoes. So many shoes!
  • I found large pieces of wood the size of a telephone pole tangled with twine, ropes, boat line, fishing floats, more pieces of wood and broken or torn plastic resting on the shore. I began to question whether or not this was Tsunami Debris.

    I contacted NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and included photos. They responded quickly and asked for permission to use my photos as an example of Tsunami debris. They could not confirm anything at this point.
  • Styrofoam in various sizes and colors could be found wedged between wood. It could fill up a trash bag so quickly. Plastic wheels, more broken and viciously ripped pieces of wood (cut for buildings) with nails bent. I know its not that unusual for an island to have large pieces of broken docks landing here but there was so much! Anything that floats. It changed the face of the shore and debris could be seen arriving with the seaweed. My dog entered the water to investigate.
  • And then I found a broken float with Japanese writing.

    All photos by Audrey B 2012
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