The Japanese government confirmed that the dock that made landfall on the coast of Washington was washed into the Pacific Ocean during the Japanese tsunami of March 11, 2011.
The dock was similar to the structure that washed ashore near Newport, Ore., last summer which was also confirmed to be from the Japanese tsunami.
Pinpointing the origin of marine debris is challenging. When possible, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Agency works closely with the government of Japan to determine whether an item originated in the tsunami impact zone. To date, 19 items have been definitively traced back to the tsunami, typically by registration number or some other unique marking. This is the fourth confirmed item found on the shores of Washington state.