Jennifer Mathis has participated in beach sweep on Dewees Island in the past, and she and her family are regular visitors to the island. (Through her design business, Blue Bowl Interiors, Jen has also done some great room makeovers, but that’s another story.)
Just like the Dewees Island’ Environmental Program Board on the island has encouraged us to reduce our waste, Jen’s main mission was to draw attention to the issue of plastic waste in the oceans and waterways. Her family was inspired by an exhibit on the west coast, as the website FromHeretoSargasso explains:
By using garbage to create something beautiful and draw attention to the challenges of discarded plastics in the ocean, we hope to change attitudes toward our throw-away society. The project is inspired by The Washed Ashore Project, an art installation at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito… We hope to inspire you. We want you to think about your daily choices and how they affect the planet at large. We want you to be moved by the actions of local students and help protect our pristine beaches and the wildlife therein.
Local Metalsmith Sean Ahern created the form, SOA student Elsa Cline designed the pelican sculpture, and other SOA students assembled it and gave it the 3d exterior. Many different sponsors from the community came forth and donated time and treasure, and the final result is two unbelievable sculptures, one of which will find a home at the S.C. Aquarium, the other will be unveiled tomorrow at Shem Creek. We have been involved in this project as volunteers and sponsors; you can read more about our participation on the project blog. We’ve collected trash, cleaned it, helped with the website and publicity, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves along the way. We have learned so much: from getting us all to think about our bottled water consumption and consumer habits to inspiring us by changing the world a little bit at a time. Dewees is so fortunate to be part of the dialogue around marine debris and our abundant natural resources. We’ll be there tomorrow; please stop by and visit this fantastic sculpture assembled by SOA students.