Shorelines Under Threat

Tsunami Debris Cleanup

Shorelines Under Threat

The devastating tsunami that struck Japan in the spring of 2011 swept up to 25 million tons of debris into our oceans. Officials estimate that as much as 1.5 million tons of it could wash up on our BC shores.

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The Impact of Tsunami Debris

The 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan’s north-eastern coast was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit the country. It was the subsequent tsunami that caused the majority of the damage, however, washing out colossal amounts of garbage and debris into our oceans.

Tsunami debris has already started to land along the west coast of North America. Although it is unknown exactly when, where, and how much debris will wash up over time, it carries with it potentially devastating effects, such as damaging delicate aquatic ecosystems, introducing invasive species, and polluting our waterways.

To learn more, read our Tsunami Debris FAQ. You can also visit the BC Tsunami Debris website.

Working as a Community

To address this challenge, we’ve created a volunteer sign up program to connect concerned individuals with communities in need of support. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has 19 years of experience recruiting and training volunteers, ensuring a coordinated and effective cleanup effort. This program works in coordination with local, provincial, and federal efforts.

Can’t make it to a cleanup event? There are many other ways that you can help; donations are greatly appreciated and enable us to continue organizing cleanups. 

If you know of a local shoreline affected by tsunami debris, please submit the site for consideration.

View the
Tsunami Cleanup Map 


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