Japan tsunami debris hitting B.C. shores in ecological red flag for West Coast beaches
Japanese lumber and household goods have begun appearing on the British Columbia coast in what many locals think is the vanguard of a wave of debris from last March’s Japanese tsunami that will eventually clog West Coast beaches with cars, boats and even waterlogged houses.
“I found more debris in 10 minutes than I have in four years … and it’s all Japanese in origin,” said Perry Schmunk, Mayor of Tofino, a community of 1,600 on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
“The ocean’s very turbulent, you can’t just predict where something is going to go. It’s like trying to trace cigarette smoke in a room,” said Jody Klymak, an assistant professor of oceanography at the University of Victoria.