Thursday, August 16, 2018

Save the Harbor and Robyn Reed are working to "Change the Course" of Plastics in our Oceans

This summer, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay has had the opportunity to work with acclaimed environmental artist, Robyn Reed, and introduced the youth, teens, and families taking part in our Youth Environmental Education Programs and Better Beaches Events to her revolutionary art installation, Changing Course.

Guests at Winthrop Family Day at the Beach painting a water bottle to be added to Changing Course

Changing Course takes an innovative approach to recycling by using plastic water bottles collected from the region’s beaches and waterfront to create art installations that transform these reclaimed water bottles into a fish. When strung together, the individual sculptures create a powerful school swimming upstream against the tide of plastics that are polluting our oceans. The idea behind the art piece is to inspire a “change of course” in how we think about single use plastics, such as water bottles or plastic straws, and encourage the public to become more proactive with limiting their use of these plastics and recycling them when they are used. Also, through art installations such at this, hopefully the public will become more aware of how much of the trash we use every day can end up in our oceans and how quickly it can accumulate.

The installation was inspired by Henderson Island, “the most polluted, most remote island in the whole world,” a tiny landmass in the South Pacific Ocean which has been found to have the highest density of debris recorded anywhere in the world, 99.8% of it plastic. 

Changing Course on display under the trellis in Christopher Columbus Park 

This art installation is made up of about 2000-4000 plastic drink bottles and has been displayed in Christopher Columbus Park, at Boston GreenFest, and is currently on display at Boston City Hall as well as in Save the Harbor's Boston Harbor Pop-Up Museum at 226 Causeway St. 

The partnership began with the artist holding a workshop for Save the Harbor's youth staff at the Pop-Up Museum this past spring, and has since brought the interactive project to Winthrop Family Day at the Beach, Tenean Beach Day, and KidsFest in Quincy, to spread awareness about this important issue while bringing a fun and engaging art project to the beach.

Robyn Reed training youth staff at Save the Harbor Pop-Up Museum

If you are interested in learning more about Changing Course or would like to contribute your own plastic bottle sculpture to the project, Robyn will be at Dorchester Beach Day on August 25th from 3pm-5pm as part of Save the Harbor’s Life's a Beach programming, made possible through Save the Harbor and the Department of Conservation and Recreation's Better Beaches Program. Or stop by the Boston Harbor Pop-Up Museum any day between 10-4pm and Sundays 12-4pm.

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