Tsunami Debris

NOAA tsunami model estimating location Credit: NOAANOAA tsunami model estimating location Credit: NOAA

Tsunami debris from the Japanese earthquake is a concern for Coastal First Nations. Communities are worried about the amount of debris that may arrive on beaches, how the debris will be collected and disposed of, whether the debris is contaminated, the possible impacts of invasive species, and other health and environmental implications of debris arriving on the North and Central Coast. There is concern that increased volumes of materials of the scale predicted might significantly impact traditional food harvesting areas and other important environmental and cultural values. 

A Coastal First Nations Tsunami Debris Working Group has been formed, with representation from participating Nations, to liaise with the provincial Tsunami Debris Coordinating Committee.  Guardian Watchmen and other stewardship staff play an important role in monitoring the arrival of tsunami debris to their territories.  

The Coastal Stewardship Network has developed the following tsunami debris documents and tools to help support member Nations:

  • Tsunami Debris Brochure - This new brochure describes the issue of tsunami debris on the coast, what to do if you encounter tsunami debris and local Guardian Watchman program efforts to monitor tsunami debris when it arrives.
  • Tsunami Debris Monitoring Protocol - outlines a standardized approach for gathering data on tsunami debris.  Field staff will record incidental observations of all tsunami debris using existing RMS field cards and conduct periodic beach surveys on priority beaches on the outer coast using the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) protocol.
  • CFN Tsunami Debris Q & A – answers some of the questions that have arisen from Resource Stewardship staff and community members
  • Coastal First Nations Tsunami Debris facebook page - Use this facebook page to upload photos and sighting information, or stay up-to-date on tsunami debris-related news and resources.

Some Useful Tsunami Debris Websites:


Tsunami Debris Resources: