Saugatuck, MI Pier, Lake Michigan

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Basketball from Japanese Junior High lost in Tsunami found on Alaskan Beach

Thanks to Mrs. Pierce and her kids in Alaska for sharing this amazing tale.

This basketball washed ashore on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island in March. After doing some translating of the characters printed on the ball, researchers discovered it had come from Kesen Junior High in Iwate, Prefecture. Here is a Gigapan Image of what is left of the school site after the tsunami hit last Spring.

Researchers were also able to contact school officials who said the students would love to have the ball returned as it would provide them great encouragement.

Below is a map showing just how far the ball had drifted before being found in Alaska.

If it had taken a completely straight path across the Pacific, it would have traveled around 3900 miles. That is pretty unlikely with changing currents, winds, and storms. The total trip was likely much higher. Whichever brand created the basketball could sure show the quality and durability of their product with this story.

View One basketball's journey in a larger map
A Japanese News station did this story on the ball's journey. Use Google Translate to help make more sense of the report.

Craig Elementary School "Save our Beaches" Challenge

Craig Elementary School "Save our Beaches" Challenge

Our goal is to study a section of our beach and record human impact on the beach animals and environment during sea week activities. Craig's 3rd grade class decided that it was important to help educate the students and new teachers on how to "Save our Beaches" when taking field trips to the beach. We decided to steak out 4 sections of ballpark beach before other classes covered the area by using rocks patterned in a 6 x 6 square. In the classroom we began coming up with "Beach Rules" that would protect the environment & animals. These rules would help people become aware that we are visitors on the beach and we should respect nature as it is and try not to disturb the beauty that we are in charge of. The rules were put on poster board and decorated with local sea life art. The groups went to each class in the elementary to give a presentation on how to keep our beaches safe from human impact. We have also posted some photos of Japanese Tsunami debris in our Craig, Alaska Photo Gallery.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Great Beach Safety Video from the kids in Gulf Breeze

Here is a great student video teaching us about the flag system that Florida beaches use to keep swimmers safe at the beach.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Marine Debris

Marine Debris is popping up everywhere! It's so gross. What kind of debris is popping up on your beach? How do you think it's getting there? Watch this video to learn more, and post your comments below. via Ella and Phillip from Stevensville, MI

Monday, May 7, 2012

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Tsunami debris washing ashore in Alaska

Look at this picture shared by Mrs. Pierce's class in Craig, Alaska.

Now watch this NBC News report on all of the debris that is headed toward the United States' West Coast from last year's tsunami in Japan.

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