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Tsunami cleanup costs money Oregon doesn't have

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More debris from the Japanese Tsunami is expected to arrive on the Oregon coast this winter, and funding for its removal remains unknown.

"Funding is not assured," Brigadier General Michael Caldwell, chair of the task force, [said]. "The state of Oregon does not have a fund for emergencies. Federal funding has been a little bit anemic."

Debris is a problem not only because it is unsightly, but because it travels. If it's not picked up from the beach, it can wash back out to sea where it can endanger marine life and poses other ecological threats. Large debris can also present a marine hazard.

So far, the state has paid for the expenses of removing debris by borrowing money originally designated for other projects or expenditures, Caldwell said. The brunt of those expenses has fallen to the Oregon State Parks & Recreation Department, which has jurisdiction over the beaches.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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