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DailyTidings.com
  • Marine debris season ends as bikini season kicks off

  • SALEM — A change in the winds could signal an end to a spike in tsunami debris and other marine trash on Oregon and Washington beaches.
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  • SALEM — A change in the winds could signal an end to a spike in tsunami debris and other marine trash on Oregon and Washington beaches.
    Federal researchers say this year's soggy spring probably aided a noticeable uptick in flotsam along the West Coast, including the northern tip of California.
    Some of the debris stemmed from the tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011.
    "This is a significant year — 2013 seemed to be a quiet year, comparatively," said Charlie Plybon, Oregon field manager for the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit that helps with cleanup.
    Winds blowing south during winter months, especially during storms, tend to help push debris toward land. But researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the annual transition from wet winter lows to dry summer highs has brought warmer, northwesterly winds that tend to push debris-laden surface water back out to sea.
    It's a shift that happens every year between March and June, but Amy MacFadyen, an oceanographer and modeler with the administration, said this year it's a little later and not as sharp as in some recent years.
    She said that is why some debris kept rolling in through late May.
    "It's a process — it's going to take a little time," she said.
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