Biologists worry about algae stowaways on tsunami debris - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Biologists worry about algae stowaways on tsunami debris

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  AGATE BEACH, Ore.- It isn't so much the debris from the Japanese tsunami the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department is worried about, but algae that hitched a ride and could spread along the coast. 

The department has organized a group of volunteers to scrape off, bag up, and dispose of the hundreds of millions of marine organisms attached to a dock that floated across the Pacific during last year's tsunami.         

State Parks and Recreation Department spokesman Chris Havel says biologists have identified one as a marine algae native to Japan known as wakame, which has established in Southern California, but not yet Oregon.         

The Japanese dock, more than 60-feet long, floated ashore Tuesday. Havel says the department hasn't decided whether to tow it off the beach or cut it up in place for disposal.

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