Friday, November 18, 2016

Colorado Return Final Post Sculpture made from trash from the ocean

My last day in Colorado we went to see, “Washed Ashore, Art to Save the Sea.” The traveling exhibit at the Denver Zoo.

The exhibit features 15 giant sculptures of sea life made almost entirely from trash collected from beaches.

It was developed by the nonprofit group The Washed Ashore Project to create awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art.

The sculptures were amazing!

From their website:

We collect trash that has been removed from beaches through volunteer community cleanups. This trash is then washed, sorted and prepared for the creation process. Each sculpture is designed and directed by a professional artist and then formed through a collaboration of Washed Ashore team members, volunteers and students.

A work of art is born. From tons of plastic pollution, monumental sculptures have arisen to awaken the hearts and minds of viewers to the marine debris crisis.

Our art pieces and educational programs travel the nation to inspire change in consumer habits.

About 300 million pounds of plastic is produced globally each year and less than 10 percent of that is recycled.
It is difficult to estimate how long it will take our trash to decompose. For some estimates take a look at this list in NOAA’s Guidebook to Beach and Waterway Cleanups.

Every year we add millions of pounds of plastic to our oceans that collect in gyres. What is a gyre?
An ocean gyre is a large, slow-spinning vortex of ocean currents caused by trade winds and the earth’s constant rotation. There are five major gyres in the world’s oceans that collect, churn and disperse millions of tons of plastic pollution from every continent. Rather than an island or garbage patch, the world’s ocean gyres are a constantly moving “plastic soup” with plastics found in every depth of the water column.

Sea turtles and other marine life can mistake plastic for food.
Plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways is a global crisis. Each year, sea birds, whales, seals, sea turtles and other marine life die after ingesting plastic or becoming entangled in it. Plastic pollution has spread into all marine habitats and every level of the food chain. According to a report released by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, at our current rate, we can expect to have more plastic than fish, by weight, in the world’s oceans by 2050.

Can we turn this around? It seems doubtful.

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