$84K to remove Japanese dock from Oregon beach

$84K to remove Japanese dock from Oregon beach
This June 6, 2012 photo shows Sue Odierno, of Salishan, Ore., looking at the massive dock from Japan that washed ashore on Agate Beach near Newport, Ore. Scientists are concerned that tsunami debris like this could be a new avenue for invasive species arriving on the West Coast (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

NEWPORT, Ore. - A dock swept from the shores of Japan in last year's tsunami and across the Pacific Ocean to the Oregon Coast will cost the state more than $84,000 to remove.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department abandoned plans to float the dock out to sea and take it to the Port of Newport out of concern that invasive species still lurking on the dock could enter Yaquina Bay.

Instead, the dock will be dismantled. Ballard Diving and Salvage from Vancouver, Wash., was the winning bidder to dismantled the dock on shore and remove it in pieces by land, at an estimated cost of $84,155.

State officials moved quickly to remove marine life from the dock after it washed ashore encrusted in marine life.

A team from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Resources Program removed more than two tons of plants and animals from the sides, top and portions of the interior of the dock.

State park crews buried the organisms away from salt water under 8 feet of sand.

Among the species removed were two known potential invaders: the northern Pacific sea star and a marine alga, wakame. Both of these organisms are included on the global list of 100 worst invasive species, state parks officials said.

While most of the marine life has been removed from the dock, some algae and animals may still be present on both the bottom and inaccessible portions of the interior, state parks officials said. That uncertainty prompted state parks to abandon any plans to remove the dock intact by sea.

Portions of the dock will be retained for use in a local memorial.

Meanwhile, Northwest lawmakers are calling on federal officials to assist Oregon and Washington with cleanup as more debris washes ashore.