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Coastal Trash Art


This aspiring marine biologist is taking an “artsy” approach to getting out her important environmental message. 

Recent high school graduate Isabelle Knott, 18, from Cherokee, Georgia created a life-sized leatherback turtle sculpture — made entirely from coastal trash — for her senior project, where she researched the devastating effect of plastic on the planet’s oceans.  Isabelle will attend Eckerd College in the fall and plans to major in Marine Biology.

Her sculpture is now the newest addition to the Visitor & Education Center at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It debuted as part of the celebration of World Oceans Day at the Refuge, where an assortment of programs focused on preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. 

Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments. That’s like dumping one New York City garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day for an entire year!

Each of us can make a difference.  For more information on how you can help protect our oceans, click here.


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