A great way to fight litter is to create something beautiful out of it! Artists did just that during our Waste to Art competition held under the theme “Amazing Seabirds: Our Birds, Our Islands, Our Future,” which was a project of EPIC and Science Initiative for Environmental Conservation and Education (SCIENCE). The contest was held on islands throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada during 2021. It was an opportunity for students and the community to bring attention to the threat of marine litter to wildlife and showcase their creativity and knowledge about seabirds; at the same time, they contributed to a cleaner and healthier environment by removing plastics and other waste material from beaches and seabird habitats. Twenty-six online entries were judged by a panel of environmentalists, media personnel, and professional artists and cash prizes were awarded in several categories. Twenty-six online entries were judged by a panel of environmentalists, media personnel and professional artists. Click here to see the impressive artwork submitted.
The art competition was part of a broader ongoing effort to conserve, protect and raise awareness about the rare concentration of seabird nesting areas throughout the nearly 100 islands that make up the transboundary nations of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The area is home to two global and five regionally Important Bird Areas (IBAs) for seabirds. The unique concentration of IBAs makes it a vital seabird conservation zone, crucial to rebuilding declining Caribbean populations. Seabirds have declined by approximately 70% worldwide in the past seventy years, with declines believed to be much higher in tropical areas. Waste is a critical threat to these rare seabird colonies, along with invasive predators and other human disturbance, including poaching. The art contest is one of several initiatives that includes a citizen science team of volunteers called the Grenadines Seabird Guardians who monitor the seabirds and clean up litter on islands. Youth education in schools and summer programs and partnerships with community leaders to manage these islands is also part of the long-term effort to save these amazing seabirds