Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ocean Trash as art

I started to explore doing some pro bono marketing work for the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. They rescue, rehabilitate and release distressed marine mammals on the northern California coasts - and they typically get the most calls for seals and sea lions.

While visiting an art festival I saw a piece of artwork made from ocean trash and found it fascinating stuff.

An artist in Oregan collected trash that washed up on her beach over time and turned it into sculptures that educate the public on the dangers of ocean trash to marine life. Seals mistake some items for food and get ensnared in others. I won't post photos here but it's heartbreaking to see a seal pup that's trying to grow with a six pack soda ring or abandoned fishing line around his neck. Unless they're found and rescued, they won't make it.

The good news is that this type of thing can be minimized if we watch our consumption of plastics, and recycle what we do use. Try using a refillable water bottle instead of those cases of disposable ones, and save up those empties until you find a recycling bin. We only recycle 7% of the 15 billion TONS of plastic we use each year. I think we can do better.

If you're near Sausalito, stop by the center. You'll see the rest of their incredible sculptures and may get to meet a patient or two. But be warned. They're stinky. One story told at orientation was of a well meaning officer who placed a lost sea lion pup in his police cruiser. Let's just say that car was never put back in service. :-)

No comments: