The impact of creatures that drifted to the Oregon Coast after the 2011 tsunami will be the topic at the latest Science on Tap presentation, set for Wednesday, Nov. 29, at Newport’s Rogue Brewery.

Dr. Jessica Miller of the Hatfield Marine Science Center will present “Tsunami Travelers,” a look at research on organisms that reached the West Coast via tsunami debris from Japan, indicating a new role of plastic marine debris — the transport of non-native species in the world’s oceans.

Between 2012 and 2017, scientists documented nearly 300 species of marine animals arriving alive in North America and Hawaii on hundreds of vessels, buoys, crates and many other objects released into the ocean by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. In a recent article in the journal Science, Miller and her co-authors suggested that expanded coastal urbanization and storm activity, which may be enhanced due to climate change, could lead to a dramatic increase in the role of marine debris as a vector for invasive species.

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