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Governor Parnell Signs Administrative Order on Marine Debris

July 31, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell signed an Administrative Order to facilitate a continuing timely and effective response by state agencies to marine debris from the March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the lead agency on marine debris, Administrative Order 263 designates the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as the lead agency to coordinate the state and federal efforts relating to tsunami-generated marine debris. The departments of Natural Resources, Fish and Game, and Commerce, Community, and Economic Development will designate and maintain a single point of contact at the agency for matters relating to tsunami-generated marine debris.

“There are still many unknowns about more debris reaching Alaska waters and coastlines,” Governor Parnell said. “While federal agencies will lead in marine debris cleanup, Alaska stands ready to assist with a coordinated, multi-agency effort.”

AO 263 ensures Alaskans receive current information about the location and amount of marine debris reaching Alaska’s land and waters. It directs DEC to develop a website dedicated to tsunami-generated and general marine debris in Alaska. The site includes information on how to report sightings of marine debris. It also features information on debris composition, beach surveys, and tracking, as well as each department’s role in debris response and contact information for federal, state and non-profit entities involved in assessment and cleanup efforts.

A copy of the administrative order is available at: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/ao263.pdf

The marine debris information website is available at: http://dec.alaska.gov/commish/tsunami-debris/

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