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    Two Communities Make a Splash

    Two Communities Make a Splash

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Patrick Boyle | A young participant releases juvenile salmon into the Oirase River during the 25th...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Patrick Boyle 

    35th Fighter Wing

    MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Children gathered around a truck, eagerly awaiting to lay eyes on what it carried. A man lowers a net, transferring its contents into a large plastic tub below, filled with the precious cargo—100,000 juvenile salmon waiting to be released into the Oirase River.

    Last week, over 600 participants from Misawa Air Base and the town of Oirase took part in the 25th Annual Oirase Salmon Release. The event didn’t take place on Earth Day, but it still had conservation and sustainability in mind. Salmon has long been a staple in Oirase, and the annual release ensures it remains that way, preventing the local salmon population from going into sharp decline.

    “Due to the coronavirus, we didn’t do this event for three years, that’s why some years salmon will not return here,” said Atsushi Takagaki, 35th Force Support Squadron outdoor recreation tour guide. “If we don’t do this, the salmon won’t come back, that’s why it’s important we continue to release them.”

    The event not only aims to conserve the local ecosystem but unites two communities in doing so. Around 350 members of the Misawa Air Base community and 250 kindergarteners and family members from the Oirase area participated in this year’s salmon release.

    “I believe the event is important because it not only allows Americans on base the opportunity to take part in a cultural exchange, but it also allows them to care for the environment they’re living in,” said Teresa Brodsky, 35th FSS outdoor recreation director. “People on base find themselves living in a little America, but Japan is a much larger place and it’s important they explore more of it.”

    The shared sense of community could be readily seen at the salmon release, as hundreds of participants took turns to step down the riverbank and set their bucketful of salmon into the Oirase River, said Akira Nishidate, Oirase Town’s tourism and industry administrator. By continuing the event, participants ensure the local ecosystem is cared for and that the younger participants may understand the circle of life.

    As the juvenile salmon darted through the waters of their new home, two communities stood together along the riverbank, united by stewardship and the desire to see the local environment flourish. Through their combined efforts, participants made certain that salmon can return to Oirase River and continue what nature intended.



    Date Taken: 03.21.2024
    Date Posted: 05.06.2024 20:28
    Story ID: 470494

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