Aid package includes money for marine debris

A proposed $60.4 billion federal disaster aid package includes money for marine debris removal. But it’s not clear how much might go toward clearing West Coast beaches of debris from the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.

The package, which includes money for the Northeast’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, also has $56.8 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to track, map and clean up marine debris.

Alaska’s two senators, who requested up to $20 million for debris cleanup, say they will fight to make sure a sufficient portion of the funding goes to protecting U.S. shores from tsunami debris.

It is tough to distinguish tsunami debris from typical marine debris, which has been an ongoing problem for coastal communities nationally.

NOAA will be in charge of distributing the funds.

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