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Photos: Japanese tsunami debris washes up on Alaska's shores

Marine debris works its way into the nooks and crannies on the south end of Hinchinbrook Island in Prince William Sound.
Photo courtesy Airborne Technologies
Volunteers at Yakutat clean up debris from the Japanese tsunami in 2012.
Photo courtesy of the Yakutat Salmon Board and Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation
Trash from the 2011 Japan earthquake in tsunami litters the Beach River area of Montague Island in late August 2012.
Chris Pallister, Gulf Keepers of Alaska
Trash from the 2011 Japan earthquake in tsunami litters the Beach River area of Montague Island in late August 2012.
Chris Pallister, Gulf Keepers of Alaska
Trash from the 2011 Japan earthquake in tsunami litters the Beach River area of Montague Island in late August 2012.
Chris Pallister, Gulf Keepers of Alaska
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Japanese debris washed up on Kodiak Island's Narrow Cape, photographed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Alaska Dispatch

In spring 2012, debris from the Japanese tsunami began to wash ashore along Alaska’s outer beaches to a dramatic extent — delivering floats, barrels, gunk plus one errant soccer ball recovered on Middleton Island, according to Facebook posts, news reports and eyewitness accounts from around the region.

The tragic flotsam from one of the worst disasters of the new century has been arriving months earlier than originally predicted by models based on the behavior of ocean currents — with the wind scooting the stuff thousands of miles across the surface of the sea at surprising speed.

People have been posting news and photos of possible tsunami debris at the SeaAlliance / Restoring our Shores Facebook page about marine debris sponsored by Junuea's Marine Conservation AlliancePhotos from Yakutat (and here) showed weird black gunk, a new large float on the shore and other disconcerting material.