I just got back from spending three days out on the Strait with the 6th grade class of Annie Wright School. We worked on beach surveys and clean ups at four different locations near Twin Rivers, Salt Creek and the mouth of the Elwha. The kids took part in setting up the grid, identifying the transects to be surveyed and in the actual counting process itself. It was not only a great chance for the students to learn about marine debris and how it is charted, but it was also a learning process for me about what works and what doesn’t when presenting the issue to different age groups. They were a great group of kids and I am very happy with the work we were able to get accomplished.
The beaches we worked are fairly heavily visited and I’m pretty sure they were cleaned up last month during the big Earth Day beach sweep. We didn’t find too much debris, but we did find some. (Surprisingly, the beach right at Salt Creek had the most plastic debris, even though it is probably the target of more clean ups than the others. It’s a hook-shaped beach that might be a collector… it would be interesting to see if past studies would confirm this.) Once I get the results together, we’ll be sending the completed report into NOAA to be added to the database.
Looking forward to doing more of these as the educational aspect of the Ikkatsu Project continues to grow.