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Sightings of Japan Tsunami Marine Debris

Where is debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan washing ashore in the United States? Since December 2011, NOAA has received hundreds of marine debris sighting reports from at-sea vessels and beachgoers in Pacific-area states and British Columbia. These items range in size and type, anything from small plastic bottles to derelict boats. To date, several of these items have been definitively traced back to the tsunami, typically by registration number or some other unique marking. Examples include floating docks, small boats, and even a soccer ball. View a map of the confirmed sightings of Japan tsunami marine debris. NOAA continues to track and monitor reports of debris. If you think you have seen tsunami debris, report sightings to Learn more at Keep in mind that marine debris is an everyday problem, and it is important to remember that not all debris found on U.S. shorelines is from Japan. Even items with Japanese writing on them may have been lost or abandoned before or after the tsunami from sources around the Pacific Rim.

Last updated Tuesday, May 8, 2018 3:58pm PDT