Last year, we had 850 people go out on expeditions around the world. We are on all seven continents and continue to grow. We just launched a program called Landmark to protect American Prairie Reserve. We have 72 volunteers per year who will collect a broad set of wildlife data and help the American Prairie Reserve management team make better decisions on a really important conservation effort. It is like being a part of founding Yellowstone in the 1800s.
We are also working on a microplastics project right now. When I was in Colorado, I became attached to the Colorado Ocean Coalition based in Boulder. In the past years, I have learned how disturbed our oceans are. We are working to have 500 volunteers collect ocean water samples this year, and what we have found so far is unbelievable. 99 percent of water samples have plastic in them with an average of 17 pieces of plastic per sample. It is so important for people to understand that ocean conservation is super important in the mountains. The plastics we are finding are entering water ways from places as far from the oceans as Colorado. The plastics we are finding are from your fleece jackets, from your face washes that have plastics in them, and from broken down items that are larger like plastic bags.
Tomorrow I am taking a group of seventh graders on a wolverine tracking expedition. We will set up a camp for three days and teach them how to identify wolverine tracks and collect DNA.