09/06/2013 01:49 EDT | Updated 11/06/2013 05:12 EST

Japan Tsunami Debris Funds Heading To Haida Gwaii

AP File
FILE-In this July 2012 file photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), buoys, foam and other debris are strewn about a beach on Kayak Island, Alaska. The West Coast is anticipating more debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami to wash ashore this winter. Scientists expect the bulk of the tsunami debris to end up in the Pacific Northwest. (AP Photo/NOAA, Jacek Maselko,File)
HAIDA GWAII, B.C. - First Nations on British Columbia's north coast will share in $139,000 in funding from the Japanese government to establish a tsunami debris cleanup program.

The money comes in response to a successful proposal by the Haida Gwaii Tsunami Debris Committee that includes the communities of Queen Charlotte, Skidegate, Old Massett, Masset and Port Clements.

The committee works with various groups including BC Parks, a school district and a regional district.

The B.C. government says that since last year, the committee has taken an active role in dealing with debris arriving on the shores of Haida Gwaii after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March 2011.

The debris has been widely dispersed by ocean currents, and little of what was originally estimated to show up in B.C. has actually washed up on shore.

Japan has provided about $1 million in tsunami cleanup money to Canada, with a federal-provincial group deciding how the cash is dispersed.

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