Governor Jay Inslee today expressed his appreciation for Japan's assistance in removing tsunami debris that had washed onto Washington shores.
"Our state deeply appreciates Japan's friendship and the generous gift of $5 million in goodwill to the United States to support response efforts related to tsunami debris, such as the dock that washed ashore and was recently removed from the Olympic National Park and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
"We continue to offer our condolences for the March 11, 2011, tragedy that claimed so many lives in Japan, and admire the strength and resilience of the Japanese people as well as the nation's ongoing efforts to recover and rebuild. Japan is under absolutely no obligation to provide this type of assistance, and the nation's generous gift is yet another demonstration of Japan's continued contributions to the international community.
"We thank the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle for their assistance in identifying the dock as marine debris from the tsunami and for obtaining needed information to prepare for its disposal.
"The United States and Washington State value the strong collaboration with Japan on the issue of marine debris. We in Washington look forward to continuing our cooperative efforts. We also will continue working closely with our federal partners to wisely use the gift of funds to respond to debris and protect our coastal environment.
"We also wish to express appreciation to our federal partners, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Olympic National Park, for their close collaboration with the State of Washington when the dock arrived and we needed to rapidly assess and respond to immediate public health, safety, and environmental concerns. State and federal responders worked well together to overcome hurdles presented by winter storms, high tides and surf conditions, and the rugged, remote nature of the coastal area where the dock washed ashore. We look forward to ongoing collaborative efforts with our federal partners to help ensure the health of our coastal beaches."