Making Art Out of Coastal Cleanups

Long Island Sound
On the Sound

A new program that merges art and coastal awareness, titled “All for Wildlife: Discovering Art in Coastal Cleanups Around Long Island Sound,” just received $10,000 in funding through an interstate collaboration to protect the sound.

The 2015 series of Long Island Sound Futures Funds grants were announced on Nov. 12, and the sole winner from the East End is an innovative arts and marine pollution project that involves the collaboration of Group for the East End, the East End Arts Council, North Fork Audubon, Southold Town and the Suffolk County Parks Department.

Group for the East End applied for the $10,000 matching grant, which the groups plan to use to develop a program that “blends coastal cleanups, education, and artwork to inform the public about the negative impact of plastics on marine life on Long Island Sound in the Town of Southold,” according to the announcement of the grants from the Long Island Sound Study.

The groups plan to develop a program titled “What Washed Ashore?” introducing children at five Southold schools and adults to coastline ecology and marine pollution.

They plan to organize more than 12 coastal cleanups along 10 miles of Long Island Sound shorefront — documenting, categorizing and delivering cleanup debris to local artisans to be repurposed into seven wildlife sculptures to depict marine animal that are harmed or killed from plastic and other debris.

The groups plan to recruit 750 volunteers to participate in the cleanups and art projects; and unveil the wildlife sculptures in public spaces and at festivals and events.

“Globally, two billion people live within 30 miles of a coastline, generating 100 million metric tons of plastic debris and, of that, nearly eight million metric tons goes into the marine environment,” according to the grant synopsis. “This pollution kills marine life, compromises human health, decreases tourism and recreation, and poses hazards to navigation and transportation.”

The full list of grant awardees is online here.


Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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