TILLAMOOK, Ore. -- Concern over possible radiation in the waters off the Oregon coast has spurred one coastal group to start sampling and testing for it.
People from all over visit the Oregon Coast, but now some worry the area we love so much could be contaminated.
In March of 2011, a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered a tsunami that washed massive amounts of radiation contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.
Since then, all sorts of tsunami debris has washed up onto Oregon's coast.
But some worry the next thing to come our way could be radiation.
“The predicted modeling shows that we should start to see it coming along our coastline at very low levels,” said Lisa Phipps, executive director of the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.
The group this week started taking samples of ocean water at Pacific City to test if it for any level of radiation.
“When we took this on, it wasn’t to incite any kind of fear in people. It is a data collection effort,” said Phipps.
The Oregon Public Health Division does test ocean water quarterly.
So far, it has not found any radiation levels higher than normal off the Oregon Coast.
It compares the amount of contaminated water released by Fukushima into the ocean to a drop of ink in a large public swimming pool.
“I don’t have any concerns about it,” said part-time Pacific City resident Rae Nolan.
But dory fisherman Bart Baldwin said the more information he has, the better.
“If there’s something out there that’s coming up, I would like to know,” he said.
Phipps said she expects the results of the testing to show radiation levels well within normal range if it finds any at all.
The results from the testing should be back within the next two months.