Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Washed Ashore! "Plastics, Sealife and Art"

Tom and I spent Saturday afternoon at one of my favorite places here in the Bay Area - The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands.   

The Marine Mammal Center does many wonderful things for our marine mammals; harbor seals, elephant seals, California sea lions, even an occasional sea otter may find themselves here in the hospital after being found injured on one of our local beaches.  Sometimes the doctors and volunteers even perform miracles!

From the Marine Mammal Center website: 

"Our mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Our core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community."

The "Washed Ashore" art exhibit was created to bring awareness to how dangerous plastics are affecting our oceans, and how even small changes can help.   "This community art project has turned the ugly reality of ocean trash into beautiful sculptures of the marine life we strive to save, inspiring us all to re-think our use of plastics and change our habits."    

"Henry" greets visitors as they arrive at the center - 15 feet of every imaginable piece of collected plastic make up this incredible sculpture! 

Just a few bullet points to consider:
1.  100's of volunteers collected all of this trash from 20 miles of Oregon beaches
2.  Over 7000 pounds of trash were collected
3. 99% of all trash collected was petroleum based 
      - everything from toothbrushes,hairbrushes, Styrofoam, lighters, fishing rope, soap bottles, kids toys, and every size of flip-flop you could possibly imagine!

Lidia the Seal


Sea Turtle

Whale Bones

These masks were made of pieces of collected garbage that were too small for the larger sculptures - there's probably 30 detailed masks to see, these are only a few examples!

There were so many sculptures to see, and it gave us even more to think about... 

Some ideas to consider:
1. Bring an extra bag to the beach (not only for your seaglass!) to pick up and dispose of trash
2. NO more plastic bags - bring your own to the grocery store
3.  NO more bottled water
4.  Use as many recycled products as possible
5.  Reuse, recycle, and reduce

Even the small things can help!  Don't forget to leave a note on our Eco-Friendly Pillow post and enter our giveaway for a Sea Turtle Pillow - and if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, make sure to see the Washed Ashore exhibit before it's gone in October.


Busy Bee Suz said...

What a wonderful post. I hope you have a lot of people reading this and taking your advice!!!!! Making those SMALL changes is really easy for all of us!

Rose West said...

That's such a unique way to recycle trash! Let's keep our oceans clean :)

MagicMarkingsArt said...

these are amazing pieces of recycled art - and probably one of the best ways to make a conservation statement. thank you for sharing!

michelle said...

These are gorgeous but so sad that there is that much trash on our beaches and seas. This is a great way to show people just how much.

Linda at beachside cottage said...

Hi - I LOVE This! What a great organization and great art - the ultimate recycling and with an important message!

Thanks for sharing!


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