Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Summer Snapshot

Kirstin holding up her Porthole to the Sea   

Cell phones. Though they have become an addiction, POP would not have been able to visually record much of our journey sharing our stories of what we have learned from our research and the faces and places we've seen along the way.  I became a little overwhelmed by the 100s of photos we took with people who asked us to share our work AND the number of people who have stepped up to help eradicate plastics from their lives and our environment.  I like to call it People Power and nothing can change the world for the better than when we put our minds, bodies, and souls into it.

On July 4th  coordinator Lisa Rider invited us to have a booth at the Earth and Surf Festival on North Topsail. There we displayed plastic marine debris samples collect from various regions of the planet along with our Porthole to the Sea.  We were among many tents sharing the importance of caring for the ocean so many of us submerge our bodies into, eat from, and ride on. And thanks to the proceeds from the Keep Onslow County Beautiful' Fun Run, and the surf competition put on by Onshore Surf Shop, POP was able to fund moving our traveling art exhibit from UCAR, Boulder, CO to University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UH.

Kim Beller sharing the ocean samples
Mid July, we were at Tidal Creek for the Surfalorus hosted by  Kirstin Thompson.  One of our new members, Bonnie Mitchell, etched some super cute marine themed glasses as a fundraiser. We can barely keep them on the shelf - promoting the importance of drinking from glass while helping fund our outreach.

By mid August we had solved the mystery to a new plastic pollution problem. One of our recent UNCW student beach research discoveries were the release of plastic bio disks also known as bio media.  Kim Beller is holding up a handful she found on the spoil island near Wrightsville Beach.  Not only did the students work discover a problem, but POP was able to locate the source that led to the repair of the facility to prevent the release of these plastic bite size pieces of plastic.  To date, we have removed over 500 of them thanks to the collaboration of POP, UNCW students, and local volunteers.

We split our time and funds up between working with children, moving our education thru art exhibit around the country, performing research, and doing cleanups. Thank you all for the funding that helps eradicate this problem and to the people who joined this fight along the way.

Julie Hurley on spoil island cleanup duty

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