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SEATTLE - Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell says West Coast communities should get federal help to deal with debris that has crossed the Pacific Ocean following last year's devastating Japanese tsunami.

A 66-foot dock ripped loose by the big waves in March 2011 landed on an Oregon beach this month, having crossed 5,000 miles of ocean. And on Friday, Washington officials said they were checking into whether a 20-foot boat that washed ashore at Cape Disappointment State Park in Pacific County came from Japan.

The dock carried tons of sea-life, including potential invasive species.

Cantwell says invasive species pose a serious threat the coastal economy and that West Coast states and communities shouldn't have to bear the costs of removing such debris on their own. She says the federal government needs a comprehensive plan for helping communities deal with the debris.

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