Message in a Plastic Bottle
In the spring of 2014, the Ikkatsu team is planning a voyage through its home waters, designed to raise awareness of the importance and fragility of Puget Sound. The Sound is a place of great natural beauty and for the people who live in the area, it is something that defines the region in a way that nothing else does. Those of us who are fortunate enough to call western Washington “home,” know how much Puget Sound means to us, but we may not be entirely aware of all that it provides.
Using a kayak constructed out of discarded single-use plastic bottles, we’ll be paddling 150 miles from Olympia to Bellingham, through the heart of the most productive estuary on the west coast of the United States. Along the way, we’ll be participating in beach cleanup efforts organized by local environmental groups and parks departments as well as giving presentations related to the issues that are facing Puget Sound here in the 21st century. We’ll be continuing our research on marine debris along our shoreline and collecting water samples for ongoing microplastics studies.
But this is not the kind of project that is done by any one group and it is hardly a solo effort. We plan on partnering with dedicated organizations like Citizens for a Healthy Bay and the Surfrider Foundation, as well as a host of others, in an effort to get the word out about the dangers of plastics in the marine environment, especially single-use bottles and bags. We’ll also be working with students from selected schools in the Puget Sound watershed who will be organizing and conducting their own experiments and data-gathering projects as we make our way northward. With consistent daily media updates and a paddling schedule that takes us past some of the most populated areas in the state, we expect that this expedition will generate its fair share of thoughtful discussion as it progresses. It promises to be a great experience, with opportunities for the public to get involved in a variety of different ways.
Set to begin in Olympia on April 12th, 2014, and conclude in Bellingham on May 17th, 2014, this expedition is expected to carry with it a variety of different messages for all of us who value Puget Sound, including the message that single-use plastic packaging is a wasteful convenience that our environment can no longer afford. Updates will be posted on this site and on the Project’s Facebook page as they develop.
Media coverage: Skagit Valley Herald