“ The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” - Jacques Yves Cousteau
The idea for Free Our Seas and Beyond blossomed in 2017 when a group of passionate, determined, ocean loving friends were unified to raise awareness of the impact plastic pollution has on our local beaches at our city’s annual Candy Cane Parade. Recognizing that not everyone is educated about the effects single use plastics have on our oceans and sea life, we were able to harness the power of Art to invite reflection of how the automated choices of our everyday life collectively effect our oceans. Trash was collected along the shoreline daily, cleaned and sorted to create an amazing Gingerbread themed float. Palm trees made from buoys and flip flops, gingerbread house decorated with single use plastics to look like candy, surfer riding a trash wave and a sea turtle entangled in ropes and plastic bags.
Walking in the parade dressed in plastic bag tutus alongside our artistic beach trash float, created an energy of excitement and interest, offering us the opportunity to educate curious parade goers on the amount of single use plastics and other marine debris that contaminate our beach.
This experience awakened the idea to harnessing the power of ART to stimulate curiosity, connect with the environment, shine a light on innovative solutions, while inspiring and educating to create change. From curating environmental art festivals to partnering with local schools, Free Our Seas collaborates with a variety of like minded community partners to raise awareness, create solutions and reduce use of plastics.