Japan Gifts NOAA $5 Million to Address Tsunami Marine Debris

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The government of Japan announced Nov. 30 a gift of $5 million to the U.S., through NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Marine Debris Program, to support efforts in response to marine debris washing ashore in the U.S. from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

NOAA models estimate where debris may be today. (NOAA photo)
The purpose of the donation is to demonstrate goodwill toward the U.S., which gave tremendous support in the wake of Great East Japan Earthquake, including Operation Tomodachi, in which U.S. forces assisted in rescue and recovery operations.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced this gift to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a courtesy call from Clinton during his visit to Vladivostok to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in September.

The funds will be used to support marine debris response efforts, such as removal of debris, disposal fees, cleanup supplies, detection and monitoring. NOAA anticipates distributing funds to affected regions as the funds are received from Japan and will work to determine immediate needs and plan for future applications.

Since the disaster, NOAA has been leading efforts with federal, state and local partners to coordinate a response, collect data, assess the debris, and reduce possible impacts to natural resources and coastal communities.

Read more here.