July 17, 2012

First Tsunami Debris Found on Santa Cruz Beach

It was just another beautiful day at the beach...

When Brendan, Santa Cruz native and longtime friend of Save Our Shores staffer Dayna Zimmerman, stumbled upon a mysterious object while enjoying a nice, relaxing day at Rio Del Mar State Beach.

 Intrigued, he walked over to get a closer look.

To his surprise, it was a blue buoy with Japanese lettering, pictured in the photos here.

He knew right away that this buoy washed ashore from the Japanese tsunami last year.

A man of the sea, Brendan knew to take special precaution with the buoy, noting that barnacles and invasive species from far off lands are always a topic of concern among boaters, fishermen, and ocean conservationists alike.

He then took the buoy home and contacted NOAA.
NOAA officials said his was the very first report of tsunami debris found here on the Central Coast.

What will wash up on Central Coast beaches is still yet to be seen, but the evidence is in: tsunami debris is coming, and it's coming fast.

Save Our Shores will be tracking tsunami debris found during our beach and river cleanups and will keep you posted on what we find.

Find out how to respond to tsunami debris on our Tsunami Debris Response page...

Before Brendan's blue buoy on Rio Del Mar State Beach this July, an entire 66-foot cement dock traveled all the way across the ocean from the Northeast coast of Japan to rest on Oregon's Agate Beach. In Alaska, a prized Harley Davidson from Japan was recovered on a remote beach in May, and since then, plastic bottles, Styrofoam, and hundreds upon hundreds of buoys have continued to litter Alaskan shores in surges of debris.


  1. How is it clearly from the tsunami? Was there an ID tracing it back? Surely buoys from Japan -- with one of the largest fishing / aquaculture industries in the world -- wash up on U.S. shores all the time?

  2. Just because it has Japanese writing on it doesn't mean it's tsunami debris. Stuff falls or is thrown off Japanese vessels all the time. How do you know for sure this is tsunami debris?

  3. .thanks for sharing

  4. Walk any beach adjacent to marine traffic and you are likely to find all sorts of interesting "foreign objects". To suggest that this float is the precursor to trash Armageddon is speculative at best


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