WA Gov. says fed help needed with tsunami debris

By Rachel La Corte

Associated Press

Published: Monday, June 18 2012 12:45 p.m. MDT

In this June 6, 2012 photo provided by Ryan Pallister, Patrick Chandler removes tsunami debris on Montague Island near Seward, Alaska. More than a year after a tsunami devastated Japan, killing thousands of people and washing millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean, neither the U.S. government nor some West Coast states have a clear plan for how to clean up the rubble that floats to American shores.

Gulf of Alaska Keeper, Ryan Pallister, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire says federal help is needed to help clean up tsunami debris that reaches the West Coast.

She told a news conference Monday morning at Ocean Shores, "We don't have the resources at the state level to do what we're going to have to do here."

Gregoire announced a "Clean Shoreline Initiative" to be led by Washington National Guard commander Timothy Lowenberg. It would include the state Health Department and other agencies.

The governor says there's no reason to fear seafood or visiting coastal beaches. Health Secretary Mary Selecky says monitoring has found no radiation in salmon.

The state also is monitoring for invasive species, but Gregoire says she's not aware of any arriving on tsunami debris.

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