LONG BEACH >> Researchers from Cal State Long Beach on Thursday gathered their first samples of kelp during a 90-minute excursion past Long Beach’s breakwater to study the impact of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.
The sampling of about 25 pounds of kelp, gathered past the break wall off Long Beach, was one of more than 40 kelp collections by the Kelp Watch 2014 team over the last two weeks, from Zodiac Island, Alaska, to Baja California, ahead of the third anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast.
Researchers have predicted that radioactive contamination from Fukushima will reach the West Coast in the middle of this year. Two other sampling periods are scheduled for July and October. Using this month’s sampling as a baseline, researchers want to discover whether there is any buildup of contaminants as the year progresses.