Marine life buried, but question remains: What to do with dock?
NEWPORT, Ore. - Crews scraped the marine life off the derelict dock from Japan, then sterilized the surface with torches on Thursday.
The ton and a half of animal and plant life removed from the dock were then dumped in a hole in the sand above the high water line.
"Since the organisms require salt water to survive, this disposal method is safe and reliable," Chris Havel with Oregon Parks and Recreation said.
The state uses a similar tactic to dispose of beached whale carcasses - with an infamous exception.
Next up: What to do with the dock itself. The owner in Japan doesn't want it back.
"Two basic options are under review: towing it off the beach to a nearby port or harbor, or demolishing it on site and disposing of it in a landfill," Havel said.
KVAL News asked Facebook fans to weigh in on what should happen to the dock.
"We in Newport," said Jodie Seekatz, "should keep it and use it for the sea lions."
"If someone can come up with the money to transport it, perhaps they can create a small business opportunity either by cleaning it up and selling it to someone who needs a dock OR by setting it up as an attraction," Ben Hallert suggested. "I bet you could put a small building on there with some of the other to-be-recovered flotsam from the tsunami that people might pay a few bucks to see all in one spot."
"I think they should collect everything they find and put it in a warehouse so people can see it," Trinity Enderle said. "I'd pay a few bucks in a few years to see it all!"
The dock provided the first test of Oregon's preparedness for the debris.
Projections suggest there will be more tsunami debris to deal with in the coming years.
Sen. Ron Wyden has urged federal officials to do more to track and prepare for the coming waves of debris.