Science Pub Hillsboro
|Date: Sep. 17, 2012||Time: 7:00pm||Located at: Venetian Theatre: 253 E. Main Street, Hillsboro|
|Who is this for: 21+ with ID, or minor with adult||Cost: $5 suggested cover charge. No RSVP or tickets required.|
"Tsunami Debris Dilemma: Invasive Species Coming From Afar"
Note: This Science Pub is one week earlier than usual.
There are plenty of invasive species that already have a foot-hold in Oregon – Himalayan blackberries, Scotch broom, and zebra mussels to name a few – but Oregon’s coastal communities are facing an unexpected threat from afar. The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 not only damaged the immediate surroundings but also released a pulse of debris estimated to be over five million tons, of which approximately 30% (~1.5 million tons) is likely to still be afloat. The first remnants have already arrived: a large floating dock, torn loose by the tsunami from the fishing port of Misawa, Japan, appeared on Agate beach in Newport on June 5, 2012 after a 15-month journey on the Pacific Ocean currents. The dock is host to a community of foreign animals, plants and algae that hitchhiked from Japan and pose potential threats to our coastline and waterways.
With much more wreckage expected during the storms this coming fall, experts on tsunami debris and invasive species at Oregon State University and elsewhere are studying the potential hazards and contributing to plans on how to handle it when it washes up on our shores. At this Science Pub, Watershed Health and Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist Dr. Sam Chan will discuss the challenges posed by invasive species on incoming tsunami debris, the lessons learned, potential implications for Oregon, and what people can do about it, including preparing for earthquakes and tsunamis.
Sam Chan, PhD, is the Watershed Health and Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist for the Oregon Sea Grant Extension at Oregon State University.