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Preventing Marine Debris by Reducing Inland Littering
The National Marine Debris Tracking Program identified the top five forms of marine debris as: plastic straws, plastic bottles, plastic bags, metal beverage cans, and balloons.
Inland littering and insufficient waste management practices are primary causes of marine debris in coastal communities. To increase effective litter prevention and reduction outcomes, the Clean Community-Clean Coast education and outreach campaign created awareness of marine debris impacts through information, hands-on activities and messages that resonated with specific audiences and address context-specific social norms.
The USF CMS, in partnership with the USF College of Behavior and Community Sciences (CBCS), USF St. Petersburg College of Education (COE), Keep Pinellas Beautiful (KPB), Tampa Bay Watch (TBW), Georgia State University (GSU) School of Art and Design, the St. Petersburg Science Festival and the City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department developed a series of programs and activities that engaged, educated and inspired 3,000+ youth, 500 educators and the general public in Pinellas County Florida and Atlanta, Georgia.
Turning Trash into Visual Treasure
To create awareness and spark dialogue about the connection between litter and marine debris, artists created a massive sculpture, which represents an ocean vortex. Inside the sculpture, viewers experience swirling currents created from reclaimed plastic collected by volunteers from community and coastal cleanups. Children in St. Petersburg and Atlanta helped make the colorful panels embedded in the plastic membrane. The Current Collections sculpture, created by Embodied Energy Studio LLC, is in Poynter Park across from the Poynter Institute at 801 3rd Street South in St. Petersburg, FL.
Installing the Sculpture. Tom Cawthon of the Poynter Institute generously filmed this video which shows the key steps in the five-day onsite construction process of the Current Collections sculpture.
Funded by a 2014 NOAA Marine Debris Prevention, Education and Outreach Program Cooperative Agreement Grant