Thursday, Mar 29, 2012
When people think of Cabrillo National Monument, the first thing that often comes to mind is the pristine beauty of the park’s rocky intertidal area. When low tides draw the water back, visitors are able to wander through the scenic intertidal and find a diverse community of marine life nestled in the seemingly immaculate tide pools.
However, on closer inspection the natural beauty of the area, like much of the coastline, can appear ruined by various forms of marine debris.
On March 2nd, following a tide pool trash clean-up by the students from teacher Melissa Han’s first grade class, the picturesque landscape of the intertidal that so many have in their minds came one step closer to reality.
This, however, was only the first step in an interdisciplinary education program between the students of Audubon K-8 school and Cabrillo National Monument. Following the trash pickup, students worked with artist Teresa Espaniola to turn the marine debris they had collected into unique pieces of art. Students turned their trash into representations of marine animals which they had researched and studied.
The artwork was then transported to the Cabrillo NM visitor center, where it will be on display for the public to view and purchase through mid-April. The students decided to sell their artwork and donate all of the proceeds to the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation (CNMF), the park’s cooperating association. The sales of the artwork, and donations associated with these sales, have already raised over $750 for the park.
But that’s not all. On Friday, March 23rd, the students invited their family, friends, school administrators, and CNMF board members for an after-hours art opening at the park. Students prepared Power Point presentations and brochures to support the event and to educate their parents about the importance of protecting sea life from marine debris. During the event, the students were also sworn in as honorary Junior Rangers and presented with Junior Ranger badges.
Cabrillo National Monument is proud to have been a part of Project Saving Sea Life and would like to congratulate each of the students as well as Mrs. Han and Ms. Espaniola for the tremendous and important work they have done.