Clinton Center exhibit looks at trash polluting oceans

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 596 views 

A new exhibit at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock looks at the impact humans have on the oceans and marine life.

More than 20 giant sea life sculptures made from trash collected from beaches make up “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” an exhibit that looks at the impact trash has on oceans and waterways.

“The oceans that cover more than 70 percent of our planet belong to all of us,” said Ben Thielemier, communications manager of the Clinton Foundation. “From powerful sharks and colorful parrot fish to awe-inspiring coral reefs, it’s our responsibility to protect the marine life that inhabit our oceans. Also, who wants to vacation on a beach polluted with trash?”

Though Arkansas does not have an ocean, showcasing the exhibit in the land-locked state is still important, Thielemier said, noting it is a creative reminder of the items that end up in oceans as well as rivers, lakes and streams, of which Arkansas has many.

“It’s not just oceans that are clogged with plastic,” Thielemier said. “Paddle down Fourche Creek or walk along the Arkansas River Trail and you’ll see plenty of debris right here in our own community. That trash ended up there because we didn’t pick it up and recycle or dispose of it properly. And where does the Arkansas River flow? Into the Mighty Mississippi River, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico and our interconnected oceans.”

Washed Ashore showcases the message that plastics have entered into all marine habitats at every level of the ocean food chain. Around 80 percent of this marine debris comes from land-based sources, going from streets to streams to rivers to oceans.

The exhibit will be at the Clinton Presidential Center until Oct. 27.