Epic Ocean-Inspired Murals Highlight The Dangers Facing Our Fragile Ecosystems

A new mural project in Cozumel, Mexico heightens awareness of pressing marine issues while creating vivid public art.

Mural by Franco Fasoli (JAZ), photo courtesy of Nate Peracciny. The image is meant to show the disparity between the 10 people that die annually due to shark bites, versus the 100 million sharks killed for their fins each year.

While a press release is effective, and a billboard gets attention, if you really want the public to care about your cause we recommend the mural as PSA. Recently, Pangeaseed, a global marine conservation organization, sponsored Sea Walls: murals for oceans. Held in Cozumel, Mexico, the event challenged artists to create 35 original artworks to heighten awareness of pressing marine environmental issues. This included everything from over fishing and shark finning, to climate change and and coral reef conservation.

Mural by Faith 47, photo courtesy of the Stills Agency.

In addition to mural-making, the artists also dove head-first into the rich world of Cozumel’s fragile marine ecosystems-- and learned tips and faqs from local environmentalist. Some events this lucky team bore witness to included endangered sea turtles laying their eggs and then releasing their hatchlings into the ocean.

Murals by Alexis Diaz, Cryptic, and Fintan Magee.

During the event, which spanned the month of July, Pangeaseed team members also organized educational activities for the the island’s kids. These were focused on the importance of learning about rare animals like sharks, turtles, and dolphins, and often involved arts and crafts projects utilizing reclaimed materials.

Mural by Hueman and Jeff Grass, photo courtesy of Tre Packard

An homage to marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer, Dr. Sylvia Earle.

Yves Cousteau mural by jason botkin, photo courtesy of tre packard.

Sea-waste themed mural by Bicicleta Sem Freio, photo courtesy of Tre Packard.

Mural by Aaron Glasser, photo courtesy of Tre Packard.

Mural by Naturel, photo courtesy of Tre Packard.

Mural by Phlegm, photo courtesy of the Stills Agency.

Mural by Tristan Eaton x The London Police, photo courtesy of the Stills Agency.

“The power of public art and activism has the ability to educate and inspire the global community to help save our seas,” says Pangeaseed executive director Tre Packard. “No matter where you are in the world, the ocean supplies us with every second breath we take and life on earth cannot exist without healthy oceans. With dwindling global fish stocks, rising sea levels, and widespread pollution, whether you live on the coast, in the city or in the mountains, we should all feel responsible for the health of the oceans and life that lives within it.”

via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

Keep Reading Show less

Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet