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Home / Event / After Effects: Impacts of the Japanese Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster on Coastal BC – Prince Rupert

After Effects: Impacts of the Japanese Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster on Coastal BC – Prince Rupert

June 3, 2015 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm America/Vancouver Timezone
Nisga'a Hall
860 3 Avenue West
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1M7



In March 2011, a devastating earthquake in Japan caused a tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant. With radioactive material and tons of debris washed into the Pacific, many British Columbians have been concerned about when and how these impacts would be felt on our shores. Join Dr. Jay Cullen of the University of Victoria and Kate Le Souef of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to discover the human and ecological story behind tsunami debris and receive an update on the radioactive releases and transport from Fukushima. Learn more about the expected maximum concentrations of radioactive material for the west coast of North America, the extent of debris, and the possible environmental and human health implications.



Dr. Jay T. Cullen took his BSc (Honours) in Biology from McGill University and PhD in Chemical Oceanography from Rutgers University. After a postdoctoral scholarship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts he has been at the University of Victoria in BC, Canada since 2003 where he is an Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. Dr. Cullen is the lead scientist of The InFORM Network (Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring), a new marine radioactivity monitoring network that engages scientists in Canada and the US, health experts, non-governmental organizations, and citizen scientists along the Pacific coast.

Kate Le Souef joined the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in 2014 to coordinate cleanups of remote beaches affected by debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Kate coordinated cleanups by boat and helicopter on Vancouver Island, travelled to Japan to learn about the tragic tsunami and toured the coast of Haida Gwaii to see the reality of marine debris. Kate is now the manager of the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a Canada wide shoreline cleanup program of the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF. She believes in the power of shoreline cleanups to connect Canadians with their local ecosystems and to recognize the impact that our everyday trash has on wildlife. Kate has a graduate degree in Oceanography and has also worked as an coastal engineer.

This evening will have information for those who spend time on our coast, harvest seafood, and are interested in the global impacts of marine debris and radioactive releases. We look forward to engaging more with this community.

The North Coast Speaker Series is part of the Vancouver Aquarium’s ongoing initiative on the North Coast to broaden our research, engagement and conservation programs to this important part of the province. Our work in this region is made possible through the support of BG Canada.

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