by Bob Doran
The official announcment:
On World Oceans Day thousands of plastic bottles, hundreds of kids, and many student-made life-sized marine animals will assemble into a simulation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch on the Arcata Elementary School campus. The Arcata Community Recycling Center (ACRC) and Arcata Elementary School District (AES) are in the final stages of planning for this art installation on the school playground intended to build awareness of the growing environmental concern of marine debris.
Funded by the California Coastal Commission's Whale Tail License Plate Fund Grant Program, AES students have been learning about the environmental impact of marine debris as pollutants on our beaches and in our waterways, and the effects of plastics concentrated in the North Pacific Gyre. As part of this project, students collected plastic bottles and containers for a two-month period and strung them together in long strands. These strands of plastics will be arranged in a swirling pattern symbolizing the movement of oceanic currents that are collecting and aggregating plastic debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Two-dimensional marine animals will be arranged among the strands to alert the viewer of the threat posed to all marine animals by plastic pollutants.
The art installation is the culminating piece of the "Seeing the Sea and Marine Debris" education program and will be assembled for one day only: Tuesday, June 8. The installation will be photographed from above at 1:15 p.m. with all students present at that time.