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Governors seek federal tsunami-debris aid


All seven governors from Pacific states and territories have come together to send a joint letter to President Obama, encouraging more federal assistance with the Japanese tsunami debris washing up on the coastlines.

A $50,000 grant was announced from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help with the response, and Oregon is in the process of making the application for those funds.

“While this is a good first step, it is a drop in the bucket,” said Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell, deputy director of the Oregon Military Department, interim director of Oregon Emergency Management and the head of the Governor’s Task Force on Tsunami Clean Up.

“Oregon has already incurred over $500,000 in expenses as we respond to tsunami debris on our coastlines,” said Caldwell.

Oregon is continuing to work with federal partners to secure additional resources to assist in the cleanup.

The seven states and territories continue to seek support for their local coastal communities in response to this national issue and said they applaud the efforts of the non-governmental organizations and citizen volunteers who have been key in picking up debris to date.

Oregon Parks and Recreation has set up a response line. For any potential sightings, call 2-1-1.

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