More than 400 pounds of organic material scraped off dock believed from Japanese tsunami
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Department of Fish and Wildlife
Researchers examine a dock that washed ashore between LaPush and the Hoh River on the Pacific Coast of the North Olympic Peninsula.

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LAPUSH — A crew has scrubbed a dock that washed ashore on a wilderness beach south of LaPush on the North Olympic Peninsula coast and scraped off more than 400 pounds of organic material, including species native to Japan but not found in the United States, a spokesman said.

The dock is believed to be debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan, though the Japanese government has yet to confirm this.

Ecology Department spokesman Curt Hart said a six-member team from Olympic National Park and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife removed protective bumpers and decontaminated the outer dock surface with a diluted bleach solution on Friday.

The team put the organic material in an upland area outside the surf zone where the marine species won't survive.

Hart said initial lab results identified as many as 50 plant and animal species on the dock that are native to Japan, including algae, seaweed, mussels and barnacles.

State and federal officials will start planning next week how to remove the dock from the beach.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew spotted the dock Dec. 18 on the remote beach, part of Olympic National Park.

Last modified: January 05. 2013 10:44AM
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