The release of radioactive contaminants from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains an unprecedented event for the people of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Help scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reveal the ongoing spread of radiation across the Pacific and its evolving impacts on the ocean by contributing to their related citizen science project.

Contributions from scientists and concerned citizens around the world have left Woods Hole with samples that the institution does not have funding to analyze. Woods Hole asks citizen scientists to consider supporting its ongoing effort to analyze samples from throughout the Pacific for signs of Fukushima radiation. Or citizen scientists can provide support directly to work being done at one of the locations listed on their Web site.

There currently is no U.S. or international agency monitoring the arrival of radioactive water from Fukushima along the West Coast. Although Woods Hole doesn’t expect levels to be dangerously high in the ocean or in seafood as the plume spreads across the Pacific, this is an evolving situation that demands careful, consistent monitoring to make sure predictions are true.

Fundraising—Citizen scientists wishing to propose a sampling location near them must raise the cost of testing and shipping ($550 to $600 depending on location). Woods Hole will then send a sampling kit with everything needed. The institution will also help by setting up a fundraising Web page that citizen scientists can e-mail to friends or post on favorite social media site. This will allow citizen scientists to spread the word and track their progress.