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Tsunami debris mars Alaska's coastline

Published By United Press International
JUNEAU, Alaska, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Debris that floated across the Pacific Ocean after Japan's 2011 tsunami has piled up on Alaska's shores, causing a huge clean-up problem, official say.

"The amount of debris washing ashore has vastly exceeded most people's expectation...," said Chris Pallister, vice president of the non-profit organization Gulf of Alaska Keeper.

"As soon as the tsunami hit and we saw the videos, we knew the northern Gulf of Alaska shoreline was going to get inundated with tsunami debris. We said so at an international marine debris conference in March 2011. Our assertion was largely dismissed."

The garbage that has made its way across the ocean isn't just lightweight material such as water bottles and Styrofoam, but also refrigerators, fuel tanks and other big items, Accuweather.com said. Much of it is in hard-to-reach areas.

The problem is two-fold: paying picking up the debris and finding room to dispose of it, Pallister said.

"We are all scrambling to come up with a solution for this," he said.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa