A Celebration of World Ocean Day at Faena Beach
Faena Art celebrated World Ocean Day with a packed itinerary of free public activities to raise awareness of ocean health and foster environmental stewardship.
The weekend-long event kicked off on June 12 on Faena Beach and continued June 13 in the evening. Faena Art partnered with like-minded nonprofit organizations Blue Scholars Initiative and ARTSail, with the support of Tuuci and Boucher Brothers, to create an exciting roster of programming. Guests took part in an open-water swim challenge on June 12, organized by the Dolphins & Rainbows Swim Group. Participants were encouraged to test their mettle by swimming a mile in 30 minutes or less. After the swim, attendees participated in a paddle-out with the Surfrider Foundation. EarthEcho International, established by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau in honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr. and grandfather, legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, provided instructions on how to test water quality while beach cleanups combed the coast removing litter from the shoreline. Families and beachgoers enjoyed artist collective AMLgMATD’s #SaveBiscayneBay flag installation, commissioned by ARTSail, as well as several opportunities for fun ocean education with Waterproof Miami and Stream2Sea, and ocean-themed arts and crafts with Frost Science MUVE.
On Sunday, activities resumed at the Faena Theater with the director of the City of Miami Beach’s Environment & Sustainability Department, Elizabeth Wheaton, as she hosted an environmental talk with Dr. Nikki Traylor-Knowles, Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at UM. After the talk, guests had the opportunity to interact with other ocean lovers over cocktails. The International Ocean Film Festival showcased a selection of ocean-related short films that shined a light on the importance of biodiverse marine ecosystems and how to best protect them. Across the globe, World Ocean Day is an opportunity for green-minded citizens and environmentally engaged organizations to come together and celebrate the ocean, raise awareness of its vital role in sustaining a healthy planet, and inspire action to protect the planet’s waters.
The ocean provides food, generates oxygen, regulates our climate, and buffers global warming. It’s critical to address the ways each of us can contribute to its conservation in big and small ways, whether it’s reducing our use of plastic, eating sustainably sourced seafood, or simply being mindful of our carbon footprint and energy use. Other opportunities to make impact include volunteering for hands-on projects and advocacy efforts as well as supporting local organizations that are actively working to preserve the ocean.
One such organization based in South Florida is ARTSail, a nonprofit that connects artists with climate activists, scientists, and marine experts to investigate how climate change and man-made pollution are impacting regional waterways. Their interdisciplinary programs span from artist residencies to educational and outreach programs that help communities move from climate awareness to climate action by leveraging art in a way that influences public policy.
Blue Scholars Initiative works locally to engage local students in marine biology and ecology through experiential learning so they gain a better understanding of aquatic ecosystems and the impact they suffer from human stressors. The free educational program invites youth groups to perform a community service project to earn a citizen science field trip, which enables them to connect with their peers and develop life skills while simultaneously learning the value of giving back to the community.
It’s in this same spirit of community building that Faena Art welcomed friends and neighbors to gather together for World Ocean Day and make meaningful connections that have the potential to transform the world.
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