7 Sep 2018 - Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic fill our oceans. 269,000 tons floats along the surface, while 4 billion plastic microfibers/km2 litter the deep sea. The decimation to wildlife and food webs is unfathomable. And the problem ever worsens.
When children learned of this reality, there were horrified, and the 12-year-olds at a bilingual school in Vienna, Austria and, along with their art teacher Mr. Peder Hill, a Californian teacher working at the school, decided to bring attention to this tragic problem by building a 5-meter-long humpback whale sculpture made from the same trash that desecrates the planet’s life and beauty.
But they felt that wasn’t enough. So, they organized a Children’s Clean Ocean Summit at the United Nations in Vienna (titled The Last Whale) so they could decide for themselves what must be done and share their perspectives with the world.
They were joined on June 22, 2018, by hundreds of children representing dozens of cultures, in alliance with each other and the UN in taking a firm stand against ocean pollution. The children also installed their sculpture at the UN for the week that included World Environment Day and World Oceans Day to fulfill its purpose.
Several other projects have and continue to run in connection with the Summit, with the goal of inspiring specific global actions to clean the ocean, including:
– Fatechanger – a mobile app currently in development, thanks to the help of volunteer engineers from around the world.
– The whale is scheduled for exhibition at Austria’s biggest aquarium, the Haus des Meeres, and is seeking additional spaces.
– On February 16, in collaboration with the extraordinarily talented students from Austria’s Makeup School, a day-long event of face-painting students as sea animals suffering from pollution took place.
In a few months, Mr. Hill has gathered an international team of over 50 volunteers to support the campaign (among them David Carson – probably the world’s most famous graphic artist). Other volunteers include ones researching grant/funding possibilities and grant writers – the goal: a non-profit with the focal point to give kids a voice.