JUNEAU -- U.S. Sen. Mark Begich wants the federal government to provide at least $45 million to clean up debris that will land on U.S. shores from last year's tsunami in Japan.
In a letter to the president, the Alaska Democrat says the money should go to community groups to conduct cleanup work.
Begich says he's disappointed by a lack of an administration-wide plan to respond.
While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been tracking the problem, Begich says it has limited resources and cannot alone be expected to handle what he calls a "monumental crisis."
Begich says the debris that's already washed ashore in Alaska is just the beginning of what he calls a "slow-motion environmental disaster that will unfold over the next several years."