A Cleveland Girl Scout earned her Gold Award for a marine debris project in 2017. Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator Sarah Orlando served as the Girl Scout Gold Award project advisor for Nina Wilkinson from Westlake, Ohio, as Nina organized and led a beach clean-up at Wendy Park in Cleveland and created a sculpture with the debris collected there.
The sculpture is now the focal point of a new marine debris exhibit at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village, Ohio.
“The exhibit is a combination of information about marine debris and what the public and visitors can do to help reduce it,” Orlando said.
In addition to Wilkinson’s artwork, the exhibit also features informational graphics about what people can do to prevent marine debris – how to wash clothing to minimize pollution from microfibers (tiny strands of synthetic fabric), or bringing a reusable water bottle or coffee cup with you every day.
Orlando said she hopes the display, including Wilkinson’s sculpture, will help make the public aware that marine debris is as much of a problem in the Great Lakes as it is in the ocean.
“I was excited that, rather than focus on a problem that’s ocean-related, she decided to focus on something in her own backyard,” Orlando said. “Many people see marine debris as an ocean issue and may not know it’s a Great Lakes issue also.”
Read more about Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab’s work with the Girl Scouts in the Winter/Spring 2018 issue of Twine Line.