"The art makes it fun.  The exhibits make it educational.  

The commitment to take action makes it possible to make a difference."

 

"The Splash Trash Tour is a very informative, must see traveling art exhibit! The art pieces are made from ocean 'finds' and quite creative. We learned an awful lot by just talking with Bette, the artist. She can fill your brain with ocean facts that you would never think about. This is a terrific family outing! Check it out!"

 

Pop-Up Show Visitors

Apalachicola

February 1 - 10, 2017 

Tour Host:

Apalachicola Estuarine

Research Reserve (ANERR) 

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) is part of our National Estuarine Research Reserve System, a network of 28 coastal sites designated to protect and study our nation’s estuary systems  

 

ANERR encompasses 357 square miles of public lands and waters in the Florida Panhandle including the lower Aplalachicola River and its associated floodplain, most of Apalachicola Bay, two barrier islands, part of a third and several small out-parcels!

The Pop-Up Show was exhibited at the beautiful ANERR Nature Center Educational Classroom. It was the perfect location with enough space to really spread out the exhibits.  

Setting up the Pop-Up Show was such a creative adventure. 

Transformation!

Tables and benches encouraged people to stick around and talk - with me and each other - creating real dialogue about the issues of trash in our oceans and what we can do to make a difference. 

One of the most moving moments in the Tour:

 “What do you think?’, I asked one of the visitors.  “It makes me ashamed of what I did all my life.” Taken aback, I wasn't sure what to respond. “Uh, what did you do?” I finally said.  “I worked in plastics.  Thirty-seven years. You remember The Graduate?  Dustin Hoffman?  'Plastics'.  It was the future."

In spite of the weather, we had almost 400 visitors during the ten days the show was open. Like ten-year-old Samantha, more than half made a written commitment to adopt a new action that will reduce trash in the ocean. 

I loved being able to greet almost every visitor personally and learn about them and what had brought them to the exhibit.  

Good attendance at the Splash Trash presentation and some wonderful coverage by local media such as this article in the Forgotten Coastline!  

This site's Splash Trash Catch of the Day collaborative art piece used only locally-sourced materials - nets and trash from local beaches and waterways. 

Children colored tiny newspaper fishes and clipped them to the net.

 

The juxtaposition of the tiny fish in relation to the large pieces of plastic was a powerful illustration of what the ocean will look like in 2050 when there will be more pounds of plastic in the ocean than pounds of fish.

But my favorite part were the kids. These bright eyes and minds made my day - every day.  

And I couldn't have done it without my partner in crime, Xiomara Lima - environmental communicator extraordinaire - who came up from Guatemala to help me out!

 

Xiomara is one of the Splash Trash Tour angels who gave me support at several of those moments when I was thinking, "I must be crazy to be doing this.  I could be on a beach making art!".

 

Her response? "But Bette, you simply must do this!"

I'd learned, working with Xiomara, that she is generally right.

 

And she was.

"The Research Reserve had so much fun hosting Bette and her Splash Trash Tour! The exhibit was engaging and visually stimulating  - a real combination of art, science, and awareness. By using locally found beach materials for a few features of the exhibit, Bette was able to capture the attention of our residents and regular visitors. She helped bring to light for many people the problem that plastic has posed for our bay, the ocean, and the world at large."

Emily Jackson

Splash Trash Tour Coordinator 

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

© SplashTrash 2016

SplashTrash Intl. by SplashTrash Intl. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please give credit to SplashTrash Intl., the SplashTrash Tour, Bette Booth, www.splashtrash.org