Japan documents tsunami debris

Fish RadioJapan documents tsunami debris

Japan documents tsunami debris

October 29 2012

This is fish radio.  I’m Stephanie Mangini.   Alaska’s tsunami debris captured on film. More after this…

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A film crew from Japans national public broadcasting station has come to Alaska to film a documentary to  raise awareness of the debris coming ashore from the 2011 tsunami. The crew filmed tsunami cleanup efforts on Montague Island, Yakutat, and  last week came to Kodiak.  They teamed up with the local Island Trails Network and lifelong Alaskan Pattie Greene

“So for Island Trails to say we see what you are doing, and we know that you know where some of this debris is, and would you host to some visitors, to take them out the road to various beaches and find the tsunami debris. It was enormously gratifying.”

Greene has been very dedicated to marine debris clean up for years. She and the Japanese crew spent two days on some of Kodiak’s most popular beaches.”

“And by the end of two days the language barrier had fallen away, we were five new good friends, and they were just as passionate about beach cleaning as I am.”

After about five hours of clean up Greene said they more than filled a pick up truck with marine debris. The Film crew was on a mission to find items that were familiar to the Japanese people.

“They carried back oyster farm buoys, large pieces of Styrofoam, and a fish basket, and a float. I think this is to bring it back and show Japan that the tsunami debris was landing.”

Greene says she is not sure what kind of messages  they will take home, but the crew left her with a very good feeling.”

“They also came over to get an assessment of how bad the problem is. Because they explained to me that the people of Japan feel badly that their tsunami is creating a problem for us. That’s incredibly humbling.”

Kodiak’s beaches didn’t bring any big surprises but they definitely made an impact.

“They had seen some regions, like Montague Islands is just piled with marine debris, and not just tsunami debris. But here I think because they spent a couple days on beaches that haven’t necessarily been cleaned up, It’s like they got it. It’s not that they were seeing anymore or any less, but they got it. They connected with the natural environment. They connected with the beach. So I think Kodiak helped them understand the connection to the land that we all have.”

The film crew left Greene with the impression that this wasn’t a one time visit.

“They want to come back to Kodiak at the end of the year. I think to periodically  check in and say ok what’s coming in now? Because they are in this for the long haul.”

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Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at www.oceanbeauty.com. In Kodiak I’m Stephanie Mangini..