Algal blooms like this one can occur in water bodies as small as a neighborhood pond and as big as the Gulf of Mexico. When algae grow out of control in our waters, the result can be unappealing, harmful to our health and harmful to the environment.
The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) want YOU to help spot and document algal blooms in our waters. Submit your photos of algal blooms where you live, vacation and recreate for a chance to win great prizes. Your submissions will help build a photo library that can be used to educate more people about algal blooms and illustrate the prevalence and impacts of algal blooms around the country.
- First Place: Nikon D5300 SLR Camera and winning algal bloom photo featured on the NALMS Lakeline Magazine Cover
- Second Place: Nikon Coolpix AW120 Camera
- Third Place: $100 REI Gift Card
Visit the contest web site for more information and to enter. The deadline is September 30, 2014.
Read the full post from the National Park Service’s Commercial Services blog.
While the natural world has always served as inspiration for art, there is now a growing movement of artists using nature not only as inspiration, but as the materials for the art itself. Ecological or environmental art uses branches, stones, and other materials local to the area to create sculptures that aim to improve the viewer’s understanding of the natural world. Not only are these pieces interesting to look at, but an important aspect of many ecological art installations is that they actually help restore their natural surroundings.
Read the full post at Grist.
The Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., reacted less than embracingly last month to the idea of an artist submerging a “mock gas station” into its eponymous river as an artistic statement about climate change.
Mia Feuer’s “Antediluvian” proposal was supposed to clue drivers traveling the bridge over the Anacostia River that the gas in their tanks was abetting climate destabilization. The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities ordained Feuer’s concept as a crown feature of its upcoming 5×5 Festival.
But the mostly African-American, working-class Anacostia community, which has been fighting for the government’s attention to clean the river for decades, felt that the project sent the wrong message. The project was ultimately nixed when the D.C. Department of the Environment said that it would interfere with efforts underway to mitigate river pollution. Rejecting the site was appropriate — as Feuer has accepted herself — given that D.C. has been less than embracing of Anacostia for basically all of its history.
As disappointing as this decision is for those who donated thousands of dollars to see this climate change critical Elenchus happen, Feuer, an accomplished artist well before this, may pull “Antediluvian” off at another time in another city.
Still, the controversy that arose from the project’s mere announcement illustrates what happens when the various activist tributaries of climate change, public art, environmentalism, and environmental justice converge. Each feeder carries its own baggage and that means it’s fated to get messy at the confluence — that is unless social equity is considered up front.
Let’s unpack some of this baggage, as it helps explain the Anacostia River art fiasco and why it played out the way it did.
Read the full post and view the images at Bored Panda.
A new trend in gardening has gardeners creating all sorts of creative garden arrangements and fairy gardens out of broken pots, proving that even a broken pot can be useful and beautiful.
Read the full story and view the online exhibition from the Library of Congress.
Environmental issues affect everyone on planet Earth—the quality of the water and food we consume, the air we breathe, and the parks we enjoy. The images selected for this exhibition are among the Library’s most compelling compositions because their creators intended to provoke reaction and inspire change.
Read the full story in Wired.
We tend to think of musical instruments in fixed terms: that’s a guitar, this is a saxophone, that’s a synthesizer. Colten Jackson, however, plays an instrument that’s hard to classify. The Illinois musician hacked together what he calls the Hard Rock Guitar out of e-waste: six obsolete hard drives, and an old keyboard number pad, powered by an Arduino board. At Jackson’s command, it emits a range of synthy, ambient tones. If he wants to change the notes or scales, he need only tinker with the software. “Instruments are this free-form art; they just have to make sound,” he says. “Whatever you start with, whether it’s garbage or e-waste, it lends itself to something.”
See all of the images (they’re incredibly beautiful) at Bored Panda.
South Dakotan sculptor John Lopez creates life-sized scrap metal sculptures with a uniquely Western American twist. In his hands, old discarded farm equipment is recycled into sculptures of iconic creatures from the American West like a bison, a horse plowing a field, or a Texas Longhorn.
Lopez already had a career as a bronze sculptor, but after creating a family grave for his deceased aunt using scrap metal, he began creating recycled metal sculptures out of found or donated pieces of metal as well.
“My favorite part about these pieces is the texture,” explains Lopez. “I just start grabbin’ stuff from the pile and welding it, in and if you weld enough of the same thing on over and over it creates this really cool texture that I’ve never seen in these kinds of pieces before. And I think that’s what draws people in.”
Welded scrap metal sculpture by John Lopez