As floating debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami continues to drift towards the west coast of North America, scientists have been following along and using it as a giant study project in ocean currents.
To help with the research The Ikkatsu Project is getting organized which will involve a group of kayakers setting out to document the flotsam as it begins to come ashore along the remoter parts of the Washington state coastline.
One of the project leaders, Steve Weileman sent me some information about it:
Between Neah Bay, at the tip of the peninsula, and Ruby Beach, at the southern end of the roadless section, lies approximately 60 miles of pristine Olympic coastline, much of it inaccessible to foot travel. It is here, on secluded pocket beaches surrounded by soaring sea stacks and intricate rock gardens, that the debris will make landfall.
Our team is composed of three experienced professional guides, each having a multi-year resume including multiple trips and expeditions to remote coastal environments. Ken Campbell has authored several books on Pacific Northwest kayaking and is a frequent contributor to print and online magazines on subjects relating to the outdoors and the environment. Jason Goldstein began his kayaking career in Christchurch, New Zealand and currently owns his own guide service as well, he works as a cartographer and GIS specialist. Steve Weileman is a documentary film maker and photographer, with previous experience in Newfoundland and Alaska, as well as numerous locations throughout the Northwest. Each of us brings a specific set of skills to the project and is looking forward to this unique opportunity to combine science and adventure.
You can find more information about The Ikkatsu Project on their website.
Flickr Photo Credit: Aerial view of debris following earthquake in Japan. / Official Navy Page / CC BY 2.0