On November 14, the Governor’s Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) Task Force held a meeting at OEM. At the meeting, there were presentations by Chris Havel (Oregon Parks & Recreation Department), Nir Barnea (Marine Debris Coordinator for NOAA), Gus Gates (Surfrider Foundation), Katie Gauthier (Senator Jeff Merkely’s District Aid), Gabriela Goldfarb (Governor Kitzhaber’s Natural Resources Advisor), and others. The meeting was led by Dave Stuckey, who is the Director of OEM and the Chair of the JTMD Task Force.
The major take-away of the day came from Gus Gates. While we should of course be concerned with JTMD, we also have to realize that there are bigger issues at play here. JTMD is just a small part of the general marine debris problem, and marine debris is just a small part of the general problem of over-consumption. We need policies and plans in place to reduce waste in general; the JTMD issue just contributes to that conversation.
Dave Stuckey also pointed out that we need to think about this issue relative to the Cascadia Subduction Zone event we are expecting to occur here in Pacific Northwest sometime in the near future. We need to learn from how the Japanese responded to the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and we need to plan for the impacts that these types of events produce. The JTMD discussion can contribute to natural hazard mitigation plans.
For more information about this meeting, click here: http://www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/public_information/JTMD_PPT_11-14-13.pdf.