Today is bitter sweet; my GoECO program has come to an end. I am saddened knowing my days will no longer be filled with surveys and learning. I am, on the other hand, filled with excitement just thinking about future chapters, applying everything I have gained from this program. I still have a lot to share so will continue to post about the program, but I will be moving into the next phase now— starting the GoMedia (underwater photography and videography program) and starting my life-long project of applying everything I have learned.
Sick at home with a bit of a cold, I have already started my next project; I am working with Daniela Mejia, making a functional sculpture for the Utila Coral Restoration (UCR) nursery. It will serve as a fun interactive piece in the coral nursery, but more importantly, it will be a new surface for growing coral. I am excited to offer the UCR a new type of tree for their nursery. When creating art, in any capacity, my work’s function has always catered more to the experience of it— I have focused on a human’s interaction with the work above all else. This is what makes this project so different- my focus is on the coral and ensuring that the UCR will be able to successfully grow and rehabilitate coral, maintain the structure and keep algae growth at bay. I have chosen to use traditional materials for coral trees - ensuring that the systems UCR have in place for growing coral can continue and that the maintenance and cleaning processes will be the same for volunteers trained in nursery maintenance. Today I am leaning away from art into function, but I hope someday in the future I will be able to push the designs and materiality of sea sculpture, to promote the growth of vulnerable ocean ecosystems.
I just want to take a second to say that I’m struggling… I’m struggling to hold what I now know and to share it in the way I’d like to. Our world is suffering and the point of casual has passed. If I sound angry, I’m just passionate, scared, and feeling a little desperate. If I sound judgmental, trust me I am not. A year ago, hell, even a month ago, I knew a drop of the well I do now. I didn’t know what I was doing and how I was affecting the spaces and creatures I care about. I am not living perfectly without footprint even now, but I want to do better, and I know that we are all capable of so much. The family I have, the friends I know, the people I meet are all so incredibly strong, intelligent, caring people— people can accomplish so much. I just want to encourage you to try doing one thing a little differently— teeny tiny shifts. A lot of these problems are bigger than we are and their solutions lay in the hands of people that benefit from the very problem. A lot of what we can do ourselves may be inaccessible - in knowledge or in cost, but there is actually a lot we can do. To shift our footprints, to shift markets, to hold the responsible corporations, governments, and industries accountable.
Let’s all just start small. We don’t need to buy plastic. We can refuse plastic bags, straws, lids. We can bring our own glass, mug, or canteen. It may be more expensive today to purchase a reusable canteen over a plastic cup, but you will get use out of that item for so much longer that it’s cost will actually be less than the item used for a day. Try to buy once over using once.