Washed Ashore: Combining art and science to raise awareness of marine plastic pollution

This webinar originally aired on 28 February 2017.

Marine debris is a threat to our environment, navigation safety, the economy, and human health. There is no longer a marine environment untouched by our trash. If we take the current state and trends of marine debris as the inevitable future reality, it’s easy to lose hope of finding a solution. But engaging in the language of the arts enables us to move beyond the world as we see it. The arts engage the creative, imaginative, and intuitive parts of brain that must be used to find innovative solutions that will change the future. Through combining science and art, we can recreate the world.

The Washed Ashore Project uses community art created from marine debris with the help of thousands of volunteers to raise awareness about plastic pollution in order to spark changes in the consumer habits that have generated this global issue. Over the past two years, with NOAA support, Washed Ashore has worked to create a curriculum based on the goals of our project. The lessons bring together art and science to help students understand the plastic pollution issue and communicate about it using the language of the arts. Workshops to introduce the curriculum and receive feedback were held at Washed Ashore exhibit venues around the country and the curriculum was piloted in Bandon, Oregon, where Washed Ashore is based.

In this webinar, Patrick Chandler, the Washed Ashore curriculum author and project manager, discussed his experience using art to communicate, conducting teachers’ workshops, curriculum development, and shared lessons learned. For more information on the Washed Ashore curriculum, please visit http://washedashore.org/iamdc/.

This webinar was co-sponsored by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the West Coast Marine Debris Alliance, OpenChannels, and the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by NatureServe and OpenChannels.org).

Comments

Thank you so much for the webinar and the fabulous resources! I walk the beach several times a week and gather marine debris. I've been doing this for over 30 years . . . I definitely see trends in what I find. For example I rarely see cigarette butts on the beach until the height of summer when tourists from outside our area come to visit. I look forward to using some of your resource materials to better educate the public the engage me in conversation. Thanks so much for all you do!

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