As part of a campaign to advise Maui about potential effects of residue from last year’s Tsunami in Japan, Carey Morishige, Regional Coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, offered an informative power point Friday evening (6/1/12) at the Humpback Whale Sanctuary in No. Kihei. As the media has offered bits of information on confirmed storm residue hitting the beaches of the mainland, there have as yet been no such reports anywhere in Hawaii. She advised about 80 attendees that much of the information was “experimental,” and based on “modeling,” due to the challenges of examining a huge expanse of the Northern Pacific, and much was dependant of reports from ships sailing across the area. In spite of the fact she repeatedly advised the group that NOAA does not monitor radiation, and referred inquiries to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and the State Department of Health (DOH,) while offering websites for each, a small group persisted on the topic, and asked why Morishige wasn’t advising what was being done to control the debris and monitor radiation, which she pleasantly advised was not what she was there to present. She was disseminating information, and clearly explained the “roles and responsibilities of NOAA,” and offered a report based on science. The conclusion was Hawaii seemingly will not be majorly affected by the disaster, but keep your eyes and ears open and alert.
Information on Tsunami debris can be found at www.marinedebris.noaa/info/japanfaqs.html#4 To report debris from the Tsunami, send email to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov Information about radiation, check www.epa.gov/japan2011/index.html
A professional detailed report of a similar presentation held the day before in Maalaea appears in the Maui Weekly: