With the premiere only a day or two away, getting the film just the way we want it has been the main thing we’ve had on our minds. With thoughts of soundtrack and color balance, theater rental and refreshments, will call and displays filling our heads, there hasn’t been room for much else.
But there are other developments that have been happening side-by-side with the film prep… and this latest one is something we are very proud and happy to be able to announce: The Ikkatsu Project has just entered into a partnership with Oikonos, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to studying and protecting “imperiled ecosystems by engaging diverse communities through innovative scientific and artistic collaborations.” That’s a mouthful, but what it all comes down to is that we have linked up with an established organization whose values we share and with whom we can begin to focus on what lies ahead for the project.
Oikonos’ emphasis on improving biodiversity conservation and its dedication to increasing the understanding of human impacts on marine ecosystems (that line was lifted from their web site), is a perfect fit with what the Ikkatsu Project is becoming. It is our hope that, through the films we produce and the public events we are participating in, we can help raise the overall awareness about the state of the oceans and get people interested in the type of work Oikonos is doing, especially with critical populations of sea birds. (There will be a lot more about this later… a lot more.)
As to what the relationship means to Ikkatsu… well, there are a number of key changes in store. First of all, this partnership will allow us to add to the scientific aspects of our adventures. Although the surveys for marine plastics will still be a major focus of the work we are doing, we’ll be able to expand our tasks to include field studies on how this plastic debris affects marine wildlife. And now, because we are aligned with a non-profit, we will be in the position to apply for grants to assist as we continue with the project. Any contributions, whether from individuals or from corporations, will be tax-exempt (look for a Donation Page and subscription opportunities to be added to the web site soon; we hope you’ll consider supporting our efforts with a tax-free gift as the process evolves.)
It’s big news no matter how you look at it. We’re very excited and looking forward to the coming year and the things we’re going to be doing. Since we’ve begun this project, our goal has been to remain flexible, to look at all the possibilities and to try to choose the things that seemed right for us as we moved forward. Our thoughts about the nature of Ikkatsu have gone through some changes as we’ve grown, but through it all, one guiding principle has made itself very clear.
As the ocean goes, so goes everything else.