It’s been almost ten years now that the Ikkatsu Project has been in operation and there have been some changes as the time has gone on, different areas of emphasis, things like that. When we started, for example, there was very little talk of microplastics. That’s a big part of what we’re doing now, especially the freshwater sampling and watershed work, stuff that wouldn’t have necessarily been on the radar back at the start.
One thing that has been a struggle, however, is putting together the volunteer opportunities in adequate numbers. The Tacoma Shoreline Survey is great for that, well-attended, with maximum community involvement that cuts across many different segments of society. Then there’s Alaska, which is a volunteer jackpot, but there are not many places available. Other than those two avenues for participation, there haven’t been many others. Not nearly enough.
If we’re going to save any natural spaces at all, it will be because we love them. And in order to love them, we have to know them, to have some sort of positive personal attachment to them. Getting people into the outdoors is going to be a priority for Ikkatsu Project programs in 2022. Take a look at the calendar for the quarterly Stewardship opportunities on tap for Tacoma’s Puget Creek, for example. These dates will feature experts speaking about various aspects of this unique little watershed, along with opportunities to remove debris, restore creek flows and make the area a cleaner and more accessible. These dates are open to all, free to anyone and something we probably should have done a long time ago. Look for more to come as the year progresses.