We have explored a large portion of the world, nevertheless, we still have to explore about 99% of our oceans. Well, in an effort do the same, we have sent many underwater sea missions to reach the deepest portions of our oceans. However, although we didn’t reach there earlier, one of our creations was already there. No matter which area of the ocean we explore, we discover that plastic is already there. In fact, when we consider microplastic, then plastic is there even inside most of the marine animals. The problem right now is severe, marine plastic pollution is one of the biggest challenges that the world’s oceans are facing. There is a dire need to stop it at the earliest for it is detrimental for marine wildlife. Many communities and organizations worldwide are doing their best to stop this serious problem by discouraging and banning plastic use.
8 Stunning Art Projects That Highlight Marine Plastic Pollution
Some artists have chosen to spread awareness with their eye-opening art projects. Here are some artworks made of reclaimed marine plastic trash.
Image Source : ThisIsColossal.Com
Transforming international debris collected from numerous sites into artworks that send out strong environmental messages is what Alejandro Durán’s ‘Washed Up’ project is all about. As of now, he has used plastic waste collected from fifty-eight nations and territories on six continents. He diligently uses plastic waste to make rivers, roots, algae, fruit and more, which clearly reflects the negative impact plastic has on our environment.
Sea Globes by Max Liboiron
Depicting the present-day waterfront environment in New York City,Sea Globes is a fantastic work by Max Liboiron. She is a New foundland based artist, scholar and an activist whose souvenir globes are filled with plastic that came from the Hudson River in South Brooklyn. The rocks she used are made of bituminous coal from a closed landfill site in Deadhorse Bay.
Environmental Wall works by John Dahlsen
John Dahlsen is an artist renowned for bringing the damaging practice of unabated plastic dumping into light with his assemblages, totems, digital prints, installations, and public artworks. He believes his artworks are a medium that helps him convey his message of the need to care for the environment to people.
Washed Ashore by Angela Haseltine Pozzi
Angela Haseltine Pozzi is the founder and artistic director of the Washed Ashore Project, which is all about creating art to save the sea. By building and exhibiting powerful art, the non-profit organization strives to educate global audience about plastic pollution in oceans and to encourage them to bring a positive change. As a part of the project, she arranges volunteers to clean up beaches. Later, the plastic debris collected is used to make large sculptures of animals that are being mostly affected by plastic pollution in the oceans.
Plastic Beach by Gilles Cenazandotti
French artist Gilles Cenazandotti dedicates his artistic skills to a very serious environmental concern, marine plastic pollution.He collects marine plastic and then creates life size colorful animal sculptures ranging from polar bears, crocodiles, wolves to other endangered animals. His artwork sends out a strong eco message that there is a dire need to save nature and resources.
Drifters Project by Pam Longobardi
Pam Longobardi began the Drifters Projectin 2006 after she encountered gigantic piles of plastic on the remote Hawaiian beaches. After collecting ocean debris from Hawaii, Greece, Alaska, Gulf of Mexico and Costa Rica, she created gorgeous larger than life sculptures that convince a person to think and do something about marine plastic pollution.
Cavallo Point by Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang
Selby Lang and Richard Lang, a husband wife duo, collect plastic trash from Kehoe Beach in California to make their assemblages. Every piece of plastic trash they use in their artwork has a story to tell. Furthermore, the couple says that to increase public awareness of plastic pollution and to better the state of the oceans is what we strive for.
Hong Kong Soup 1826 by Mandy Barker
Mandy Barker is a photographer who specializes in creating works that display the effects of marine plastic pollution in the best ways possible. Her work – Hong Kong Soup:1826 made of plastics gathered from 30 different beaches in Hong Kong depicts the pitiable state quite well.
Artists worldwide are doing their best to spread awareness regarding marine plastic pollution. Their artworks are beautiful, but also present the unsettling truth of marine pollution.
How to reduce ocean pollution?
1. Restore ocean habitat
The ocean bed has been poisoned by trash and industrial waste. This has lead to the destruction of many fish and seaweeds. Thankfully, there is still time to restore all these. We can do it easily with the combined effort of a few who are interested in saving mother earth. You too can help. Things like planting seagrass, cleaning trash from the shores and helping in volunteer work. This can create awareness and help in restoring the co system that we value so deeply. The local authorities too can help in such activities by providing the essentials like trash bins, boats, and gloves for the cleaning process. A group of enthusiastic people can help a lot to restore the lost habitat. Furthermore, they can also help create a better ocean with lesser pollutants strewn into it.
2. Remove endangered species from your menu
Exotic flavors are a favorite with all of us. The very mention of exotic dishes would bring mouth-watering sensations in our stomach and mouth. What we all fail to remember is the fact that certain species of fish like swordfish, orange roughy, etc., which we relish could be well heading for the endangered category. Moreover, these would soon leave a huge gap in the food chain which can again lead to ecological imbalance.
The trawlers that catch fish are catching them swifter, without allowing the fish a chance to breed and multiply. This will soon lead to younger and thinner looking fish in the market. This would result in dwindling number of such species in the sea.
You can chip in by publicizing the pocket guide that Monterey Bay Aquarium has released. This lists endangered species and other fish that can be included in the menu instead of these rare varieties. You may also look for the Marine Stewardship Council Eco-Label to look for fish that are abundant.
3. Clean up pet waste
Though many people are unaware of this, pet waste is a major source of pollution. It is full of toxins and harmful bacteria that cause destruction in the ocean bed. Sewage too which is replete with nutrients can cause a lot of damage to the ocean. It encourages the multiplication of anaerobic bacteria. In addition, the growth of anaerobic bacteria can lead to anoxic zones in seawater. This is an area where all the oxygen in the seawater is removed, making it difficult for fish and sea creatures to breathe.
Cat poo and dog droppings too are full of e Coli and salmonella spread to the land as well as the sea through rainwater and destruct the ocean life. To control this, you can flush dog droppings down the toilet where they will be treated in the sewage processing plants and converted into harmless waste. However, the same should not be done for cat poo as cat poo is not biodegradable and would damage the pipe if done so.
4. Use of organic fertilizers
When you have a garden and a lawn in your compound, the use of fertilizers become imperative. This will harm the surrounding environment and the harmful chemicals are finally washed into the sea, again causing destruction and damage. Pollution from fertilizers will cause eutrophication which will lead to development of algae in water. In the sea, it causes red tides and harms the organisms in the sea.
Using organic fertilizers, compost and mulch will get rid of this problem. They have essential nutrients that are good for the plants and prevent harmful substances form seeping into the soil and sea.
5. Use permeable ground cover
The use of impermeable ground cover can adversely affect the water in oceans, lakes and rivers. It’s because the rain water will not be absorbed properly into the soil. Furthermore, this rainwater will flood residential areas and lead to a rapid erosion of soil. This will fill the lakes and oceans leading to poor water quality and seeping of harmful waste and other materials into the ocean.
Use of permeable ground and roof coves will take care of this problem. They help in containing runoff and prevent animal and plant damage.