Marine debris has long been a safety concern for sailors and ocean racers, and the 2011 tsunami in Japan caused increased concern over the large amount of debris that was washed out to sea.
NOAA and its partners are collecting data about the debris and assess its impact on our oceans, reefs and shorelines as well as potential navigation hazards. Currently NOAA is considered to be the best source of information for monitoring tsunami debris. Check out their FAQ: Tsunami Marine Debris page for questions and answers about tsunami debris and for updated information on the subject.
Pac Cup organizers have been monitoring the status of the debris field since the issue first arose in 2011, and we will continue to monitor and update racers if specific issues arise. In the meantime, we’ll keep the link to NOAA’s Tsunami Debris Page on our website for our racers’ convenience.
Pacific Cup sailors are not just concerned with marine debris being a navigational hazard, we are also concerned with its ecological impact on the ocean, i.e. our race course. In 2010 the Pacific Cup partnered with NOAA’s Marine Debris program when a number of returning boats participated in their Pilot Marine Debris Visual Survey Project. This project studies marine debris that could be a potential safety hazard to mariners as well as wildlife.
Article by Sylvia. Links added.