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Governor Kitzhaber taps General Caldwell to lead Oregon Tsunami Debris Task Force

Press Release

Location: Salem, OR

General Mike Caldwell, Director of Oregon's Office of Emergency Management, will lead the Oregon Tsunami Debris Task Force, Governor Kitzhaber announced today. General Caldwell will oversee an interagency team charged with incident preparedness and response, public safety, cleanup, and public outreach to address marine debris affecting Oregon's coastline.

"State agencies have been working with local communities for months to ensure Oregon's shores remain safe and clean," said Governor Kitzhaber. "As material begins to show up on Oregon beaches, General Caldwell's leadership and operational expertise are essential to coordinating local, state and federal efforts to respond to marine debris and keep Oregonians informed about cleanup plans. I thank him for his service."

General Caldwell brings extensive emergency response expertise and will focus his efforts on:
- Providing one point of contact to ensure effective coordination and streamlined operations in response to marine debris cleanup and public safety.
- Working with the states of California, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska to request federal financial support and agency assistance for tsunami debris response and cleanup.
- Coordinating communications among stakeholders and with the general public to keep coastal communities and visitors to Oregon's beaches safe and informed.

One of the task force's first actions has been to partner with 211info, a nonprofit phone hotline, to expand coverage for coastal communities to get information on and report issues related to marine debris. The 211 hotline will be operational beginning 8:00 AM Friday, June 29. People are also able to call 1-800-SAFE-NET (1-800-723-3638) to access resources and information.

"From the dock that washed ashore at Agate Beach, to increasing amounts of smaller debris showing up on Oregon's coast, it is clear we will need to be ready to respond to a wide range of issues over the coming months and years," said General Caldwell. "Our priority from the start has been to ensure we have a plan and the necessary resources in place to respond quickly and effectively to keep communities safe."

The task force includes representatives of State Police, Parks, Environmental Quality, Fish and Wildlife, Public Health, Transportation and the Marine Board, as well as local and tribal governments, state legislators, community organizations, and federal agencies.

For a list of members:

For more information:

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