The Ikkatsu Project is an organization dedicated to exploration, education and advocacy on environmental issues related to the health of the ocean.
Last year, we completed a sea kayak expedition that followed the roadless coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and along the way, we surveyed remote wilderness beaches for marine debris, including debris that had crossed the Pacific following the Japanese tsunami of March, 2011. Our findings are being used to help identify which beaches should receive priority for upcoming cleanup operations.
While we were doing all of this, we made a film about it. “Ikkatsu: The Roadless Coast,” premiered in November of 2012 and is currently being shown in select locations in Washington, Oregon and California. We're very proud that this film was recently selected as the winner of the 2013 Waterwalker Film Festival, Best Environmental Film, as well as being short-listed to the Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour, 2013. This film is helping to raise awareness of the problem that marine debris represents for our environment, and for each and every one of us.
We’re taking the project further in 2013, on another sea kayak expedition to Augustine, a volcanic island in south-central Alaska. We’re planning on doing more beach surveys of remote and rarely-accessed shorelines, and bringing it all together in another film that will document marine debris and examine the effects that plastics have on vulnerable populations of sea birds. We’ve partnered with Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, a non-profit organization that focuses on sea birds, to develop protocol for examining beach-cast birds for plastic ingestion, something that will assist in determining the extent of the problem.
Plastic in our oceans is an almost overwhelming global problem, making up almost 90% of all floating marine debris. These plastic items do not biodegrade, but they do break down into smaller and smaller pieces that persist for centuries, absorb toxins and eventually enter our food chain. Because much of this pollution exists in places that are seldom visited, the problems associated with marine debris are often overlooked.
Because we travel by kayak, we’re able to get in and out of beaches that would be difficult to get to by land. Going by kayak makes for its own unique tales too, and the perspective that we get by being at water level becomes part of the overall story. (For answers to some of the most common questions we receive about the experience, click on the FAQ link at the bottom of the page.)
But we can’t do it alone. To make this film a reality, we need you to get involved. This is an important issue, and it affects everyone, no matter where you live, in every country, regardless of whether you live near an ocean or not.
This is an important film, and it needs to be made. But there are equipment costs that need to be accounted for, and the cost of transporting our gear to Augustine is substantial. In addition, we’ll have post-production expenses that we’ll need to cover in order to make this film a reality.
Our funding goal here is a reflection of the transportation costs and the equipment expenses only. We are committed to getting this film made and we are doing everything within our power to cover the remainder of the costs ourselves. All we are asking for is assistance with the cost of the photographic gear and with the actual expense of getting up to Augustine. And, because we are a sponsored project of a non-profit organization, your contribution is tax-deductible.
The way it works is that your contribution is grouped together with the contributions of others who see the importance of getting the message out about the problems associated with marine debris. Each individual amount that is pledged, no matter how small or large, is added to the total until our goal is reached. In return for your support, we have put together some exciting perks that will allow you to claim a real sense of ownership in the completed film. We are telling a story that needs to be told and you are in the position to give us the voice to tell it.
The health of the ocean is critical not only to the fish and the birds that call it home, but to our survival as well. As the oceans go, so goes the planet. The problems associated with marine debris are man-made problems and we believe that raising awareness about the issue is the first step toward a solution. We hope that you’ll join us as we attempt to bring this story to life.
And most importantly, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading through the outline for this upcoming film and the list of perks, for watching our promotional video and for doing your part to make this project a reality. We couldn’t do it without you, and we are very grateful for your support.