Washington Starts Dismantling Tsunami Dock

185-ton structures washed ashore from Japan

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 22, 2013 2:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – The 2011 Japanese tsunami washed an estimated 5 million tons of debris into the ocean, and two years later, one small chunk of that is being dismantled in Washington state. Workers have begun taking apart a 185-ton, 65-foot-long dock that washed ashore in a hard-to-reach area of Olympic National Park, reports LiveScience. One reason they can't just leave it: The dock is encased in concrete but has a Styrofoam material inside, which could spill out and be ingested by fish and birds. The good news is that tests show the dock isn't radioactive. The worrisome news is that it might very well have provided transport across the ocean for some invasive species stuck to its side. Time will tell.

This Jan. 3, 2013, photo provided by Olympic National Park shows a dock that washed ashore on a wilderness beach near Forks, Wash.
This Jan. 3, 2013, photo provided by Olympic National Park shows a dock that washed ashore on a wilderness beach near Forks, Wash.   (AP Photo/Olympic National Park, File)
Scientists and others inspect a dock that floated up on a remote stretch of wilderness beach in northwestern Washington.
Scientists and others inspect a dock that floated up on a remote stretch of wilderness beach in northwestern Washington.   (AP Photo/Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, File)
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