The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011 ejected a vast debris field into the North Pacific Ocean that began drifting toward North America and Hawaii. This allowed, for the first time, to track and study how invasive species may be transported over long distances via rafting on debris.
Since 2012, over 400 objects including docks, vessels, and buoys with more than 330 living Japanese species have been intercepted from Alaska to California and Hawaii. Searches for new potential invasions from tsunamis have begun in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. More than 4 years after the tsunami, living Japanese species on tsunami debris continue to arrive.
Dr. James Carlton, professor emeritus of marine science at Williams College and director emeritus of the Williams College Maritime Studies Program at Mystic Seaport, is a world-renowned expert in aquatic invasive species who will be discussing marine life discovered on Japanese tsunami debris along the West Coast, potential bioinvasions from natural disasters, and current invasive issues along the New England coast.
Carlton’s work, spanning from the Pacific tsunami debris to his focus on non-native species here in the northeastern Atlantic, is a testament to the fact that the study of marine invasive species has global implications. Understanding the often unintended dispersal of plants and animals across the world is a factor that will remain critical to the future health of coastal waters everywhere.
Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Rhode Island Sea Grant at 401-874-6805 to reserve your seat.
When: Thursday, February 11, 2016
Time: 4–6:00 p.m.
Where: Coastal Institute Auditorium | URI Narragansett Bay Campus