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WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240-0036
December 10, 2012
In Reply Refer To:
6500 (230) P         
Instruction Memorandum No. 2013-028       
Expires:  09/30/2014
To:                  All Washington Office and Field Office Officials
From:              Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:          Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris Response
Program Areas:  Fish and Wildlife Conservation; Soil, Water and Air; Forest, Rangeland, Riparian, and Plant Conservation; and National Landscape Conservation System.
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides direction on cooperative response to the landfall of Japanese tsunami marine debris on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pacific Coast lands.
Policy/Action: This IM provides national direction to the BLM offices in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska on our responsibilities when encountering Japanese tsunami marine debris (JTMD) on BLM lands.  Affected BLM offices should participate and be aware of local, State and Federal efforts, and contribute resources as needed and where available. An overview of current plans, local, State, and Federal partners, and response protocols is available at http://anstaskforce.gov/Tsunami.html.
If no local or regional response plan is available, the BLM offices should use the attached guidance from the Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Observances of the JTMD and any questions regarding the JTMD identification or other issues should be directed to NOAA and your respective State Office lead as listed below.  An email describing the location (coordinates when possible), type, size of debris and disposition (what you did with the debris) will provide sufficient documentation for the BLM reporting purposes.  Each State lead will consolidate Field Office reports and provide them to the Washington Office (WO) contacts (also listed) at least monthly. 
Stephanie Carman, scarman@blm.gov, (202) 912-7404, WO – Fish Biologist/Invasive Species
Ron McCormick, rmccormi@blm.gov, (202) 912-7135, WO – Ecologist
Gina Ramos, gramos@blm.gov, (202) 912-7226, WO – Senior Weeds Specialist
Mike DeArmond, ddarmond@blm.gov, (202) 912-7220, WO – Deputy Division Chief
Al Doelker, adoelker@blm.gov, (503) 808- 6067, OR/WA – Water/Riparian Program Lead
Jim Weigand, jweigand@blm.gov, (916) 978-4656, CA – Ecologist
Matt Varner, mvarner@blm.gov, (907) 271- 3348, Alaska – Fisheries/Riparian Program Lead
Bi-weekly interagency conference calls, hosted by NOAA, are available to update partners (every other Thursday at 12 pm AKDT/1 pm PDT/ 4 pm EDT, (888) 790-6110, passcode: 46981#). While BLM leadership is available, coordination is primarily occurring at a local and regional level. The BLM staff should work closely with local representatives from NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well State agency leads, in responding to the JTMD.
Timeframe: Current predictions are that debris from the Japanese tsunami will continue to land on the shores of the United States for at least the next several years, depending on ocean conditions, currents and storms. 

Budget Impact: The BLM will work with partners within existing budgets to respond to tsunami debris.

BackgroundAs a result of the March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan, a large amount of debris washed into Japan’s waters.  Experts predict that a portion of that debris will reach the shores of the United States over the next several years.   A coordinated and specialized response to the JTMD is necessary because of the potential for the debris to be biofouled; that is, harbor nonnative, and potentially invasive, species. It is expected that much of the debris will be terrestrial in origin, and likely only colonized by pelagic goose barnacles during the ocean voyage.  However, debris having a marine origin presents a greater risk due to the likely presence of Asian marine species not native to North American waters.

The BLM has over 1800 miles of Pacific Coastlands, most of which are scattered and/or remote, and the BLM does not have a dedicated marine debris response program. As such, the BLM is expected to play a minor role in JTMD response, primarily as a partner assisting other Federal and State agencies. 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: No manual or handbook section should be affected by this IM. 

Coordination:  Washington Office Divisions of Fish and Wildlife Conservation (230), Forest, Rangeland, Riparian, and Plant Conservation (220) and Environmental Quality and Protection (280).

Contact: Stephanie Carman, scarman@blm.gov (202) 912-7404, Ron McCormick, rmccormi@blm.gov (202) 912-7135.

Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                      Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                       Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
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Last updated: 12-19-2012