On the First Day of Summer, Wave Goodbye to Ocean Pollution

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Some of the world’s most influential artists have been making waves around New York City for the past month. On June 21, their artwork will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s, with all net proceeds benefitting the La Mer Blue Heart Oceans Fund for Project 0, which helps restore and preserve marine protected areas around the world.

“Our goal is to get 30% of the ocean under protection by 2030,” says Tyrone Wood, the director of Project 0. “That means sustainable fishing; and replenishing mangroves and coral reefs.”

Fifty-plus artists participated, including Keith Richards, Dustin Yellin, Julian Schnabel, Oliver Clegg, David King Reuben, Sienna Miller, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Anna Ewers and Joan Hornig. All created a distinct wave out of a pre-determined mold. The waves formed a city-wide art trail, La Mer Wave Walk in Support of Project 0, and were on display in some of New York’s most iconic spots – including The Oculus, the United Nations, Time Warner Center, Fulton Ferry Landing, Gantry State Park, and Yankee Stadium. “I saw all five boroughs in one day while loading these waves in,” jokes Wood.

This is Project 0’s biggest initiative to date. Previous campaigns included a fight against plastic straws in bars and restaurants, which take between 100 and 200 years to completely disintegrate.

“Every project we do we focus on a couple of things,” says Wood. “For this one, we’re restoring mangroves in Grenada, sustainable fishing in the East China Sea and getting marine protected areas in Azores.” Wood and Project 0 seek to encourage behavioral changes, like a shift away from single-use plastic bags, in order to support the health of the ocean.

The partnership was a natural one for La Mer, which has been committed to ocean conservation for over a decade,  said La Mer executive director Clyde Johnson at a kickoff event for the  La Mer Wave Walk. ” Our founder, Dr. Max Huber, had a deep appreciation for the ocean, and we continue his legacy by sustainably harvesting our sea-sourced ingredients.”

While there is still work to be done, Wood is confident that oceanic health is on the upswing. “The whole point of Project 0 is to raise awareness, and to get as many people to learn about [ocean conservation] as possible,” he says. “We’re not preaching anything. We’re there to [help the ocean and] do wonderful projects like this.”

In addition to the live auction on June 21, each wave is available for purchase online via Paddle8 through June 23.


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