July 14th turned out to be a great day to clean our blue spaces and dive for debris at Africville in the Bedford Basin! The hard work by Project SculptShore's Elizabeth Wile and Nova Scotia Underwater Council Alanna Canaran who were hosting an event with the BGC Greater Halifax Clubs is not going unnoticed. Our youth learned about our impacts on the North Atlantic Right Whale and how we can get involved by cleaning up our shoreline and looking for new ways to be involved with our ocean environment.
Elizabeth Wile and Eveline Hipson are embarking on a summer drive along the East Coast with a life-sized baby whale calf sculpture as part of their Project SculptShore awareness campaign. The project aims to raise awareness for the North Atlantic right whale and promote positive messaging.
Initially started as a community outreach project with the Canadian Conservation Corps, Project SculptShore has expanded in scope. Wile and Hipson, participants in the Conservation Corps program, want to explore the impact of youth voices on conservation efforts.
The whale calf sculpture, measuring six meters in length, is based on Snow Cone's calf from the film "The Last of the Right Whales." The sculpture serves as a connection between the public and the environmental issues facing the North Atlantic right whale.
(From Left-Right: Jess, Elizabeth, Alannah and Mike)
The main threats to the whale population are entanglement, boat strikes, and ocean plastics. Project SculptShore aims to address these issues by encouraging the adoption of ropeless fishing gear to reduce entanglements. They also highlight the use of technology, such as acoustic monitoring and changing shipping lanes, to prevent boat strikes. Additionally, the project emphasizes the need for individuals and corporations to reduce plastic pollution.
Throughout the summer, Wile and Hipson will participate in shoreline cleanups like this one, community events, and screenings of "The Last of the Right Whales." They are using the hashtag #followthewhale on Facebook and Instagram to provide updates on the whale's migration progress and the screenings.
To support their efforts, they have launched a GoFundMe campaign to alleviate the financial burden of transporting the whale calf. They believe Project SculptShore will benefit the local fishing industry and hope to establish it as a non-profit organization in the future.
Wile and Hipson see the North Atlantic right whales as an integral part of Nova Scotia's waters and aim to protect them through innovative initiatives. They envision a lasting impact and hope that the baby whale calf becomes an enduring symbol, akin to Theodore Tugboat.
AND a bit thank you to BernArt Maze who designed and hosts this beautiful whale art specimen.