Puyallup Watershed Microplastics Study
A short summary of an excellent pilot program that introduced middle-school students from 6 different districts in the Puyallup watershed to field study methods and the problems of plastics in the environment. From Mount Rainier to Commencement Bay, important baseline studies were done by the kids who live there, and who stand to inherit it all someday.
2017... A Full Slate
2016 was an epic year for the Ikkatsu Project, with several key programs rolling up at the end of the year and others that have carried through to 2017, along with several new efforts that are sure to be interesting.
The freshwater microplastics monitoring pilot program was a huge success, with students from six different school districts getting out to do field studies in various locations throughout the Puyallup watershed. By focusing on streams and rivers that are near to where they live, students (as well as teachers and administrators), developed an understanding of the issues related to plastic in their water and a desire to do something about it. Work with several of these districts, as well as some new participants, will continue into the New Year, with the 2017 research focused on the White River.
Coastal monitoring of selected beaches continued in 2016 and will also go forward, with an increased focus on the two major beach cleanup weekends, one in April and the other in September. Survey activity will be centered around these events, with the hope that a more consistent survey process will yield more usable results.
Alaska is back on the calendar as well. The summer of 2017 will include some quality time in Southeast, on and around the island of Kuiu, not far from Wrangell. Beach surveys and microplastic samples will be on the agenda, along with the opportunity to set up a new sea kayaking program in one of the most beautiful and remote locations anywhere on the west coast.
There’s more to tell, and details on the things that have already happened can be found in the archives: another trip to Washington DC to lobby elected representatives on ocean-related issues, attempts to navigate the local fossil fuel related legislation, and so on. Please check in with the journal as the year progresses for more information. And thank you to all who have supported the Ikkatsu Project with your time, money and good will throughout the years.
There is still plenty to be done.